She is survived by her parents, David and Joy Ward, Cleveland; a brother, Micah Ward, Raleigh, North Carolina; aunts and uncles, Bert and Barbara Ward, Monett, Missouri and Michael and Linda Hinton, Palm Harbor, Florida; as well as many cousins.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Bert and Pearl Ward, and Dee and Marie (Jackie) Hinton.
When Micah was 5 years old he began to pray for a baby sister. A year later, Bethany Lynne came to us, and he was overjoyed. He called her “Happy Baby” because she was always laughing.
Micah always had a little side kick; during Cub Scout meetings. Bethany was there raising her hand for the pledge and taking part. In summer she loved going to New Mexico for Scout camp, hiking with mom through the Ponderosa Pine forest.
In 1993 our family relocated from Oklahoma City to Chickasha; it was tough on Beth to leave our old neighborhood, her best friend Amanda, and her friends at Draper Park Christian Church, but she quickly made new friends and was able to readjust.
In 1997 she moved with her mom and dad to Cleveland, where she again made friends and worked in retail sales. In 2012 she graduated from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Administration. She was active on Facebook, remaining connected to friends, old and new.
In 2003 at the age of 25 Bethany was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Though she was frequently ill, she tried to maintain her sense of humor, and coped with it the best she could.
One day she came home with something inside her coat. She was trying to hide a tiny black wiggly puppy that she had rescued from a burlap sack someone had left at the door of the Vet clinic. She had taken her cat Trixie for a vaccination and then couldn’t let that puppy go uncared for. That is how her faithful Labrador retriever came into our lives. Lolly is now 15 years old and is living with us.
One summer day Bethany heard a faint cry from a house two lots away. She ran over the fields barefoot to get to the woman who was shouting for help; she had fallen and broken her hip. Beth called for help and didn’t leave her until it came.
There was no one Bethany would not go out of her way to rescue or encourage. She once saved a little boy from drowning in a hotel swimming pool.
She loved the elderly people she knew and many that she didn’t know. She never met a stranger. She loved to bake treats for her neighbors in Cleveland and was often seen out visiting with them.
Bethany was known to buy things she didn’t need in order to help someone out. The people who set up at the street sale on Pioneer Day in Cleveland were happy to see her coming.
She bought a ticket for the bungee jump ride and gave it to a boy who was wishing he could give it a try.
If she knew someone who needed a special dress she would give away one of her favorites.
Beth was the life of any party and made every get-together into an occasion. She was unselfish to a fault and her sense of hospitality extended to all. She loved her “little Mayberry town” and her many friends.
She had a tattoo on her foot written in Hebrew: “To love life, live it to the fullest.” And she did.
In the past year Beth had a spiritual epiphany. She dedicated her life fully to the Lord. She loved Jesus and told friends she was “now a devout Christ-follower, a born-again Christian”. We praise God for this.
The family wishes to thank Haleigh and Amanda, Rhonda and Mary Ann and the Tulsa St. Francis Hospice team for the loving care given to Bethany. Also thank you to Schaudts Funeral Home of Tulsa and Parker Mortuary of Joplin for their kindness.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 29, 2019 at Parker Mortuary Chapel with Bert Ward officiating.
“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart. The devout are taken away, and no one understands. The devout are taken away to be spared from evil.”