Lee Haviland Ward, age 77, passed away on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at McLaren Bay Region Hospital in Bay City, Michigan. He and his wife of 18 years, Patricia Ward (Short), lived in West Branch and Lupton. Lee had lived in West Branch since 1989 and in Howell before that. Lee was born on September 3, 1939 to Earl and Laura Ward in Howell. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Rose City and a veteran of the United States Army.
During his career, Lee was superintendent for West Branch/Rose City Area Schools and Camden-Frontier Schools. He graduated from Howell High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Huron College (South Dakota), a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, and had nearly completed all requirements for a Ph.D. from Michigan State University when he was offered a position as assistant superintendent with West Branch/Rose City Area Schools. Lee was a member of the Ogemaw Heights Athletic Site Development Committee, the ESP Board, MARSP, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, and the NRA.
Lee is survived by his wife, Patricia Ward of West Branch; his children Kevin (Amy Swiatowy) Ward of West Branch and Kelly Ward of Coldwater and their mother Janice of South Dakota, Keith (Tammy) Ward of Mulliken and his mother Karen of Charlotte, and Darian (Sofia) Neubecker of Commerce Township, and Jenelle Neubecker of Caro; his grandchildren, Brandi, Gabe, Kaylee, Nathan, Ella, and Aurora; his nine great-grandchildren; and his brothers, Bill (Marcia) Ward and Lynn (Glenda) Ward. Lee was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter-in-law Mary Ward of West Branch.
Lee enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, and the Detroit Tigers, and he loved his cat, Bella. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Visitation will be at Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. following a visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in South Branch. Reverend Nathan Jeffords will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the ESP scholarship in Lee’s memory. Online condolences can be shared at www.steuernolmclaren.com.