Linda Susan Ward of Odessa, Texas, passed away on September 29, 2023, after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her loved ones at the time she passed.
Linda was born on May 26, 1948, to Sally Slay Brodnick and John Frank Smith Jr. in Dayton, Ohio.
After graduating from high school in 1968, Linda was scheduled to attend Ohio State to major in nursing. Taking care of people was Linda’s superpower and she wanted to work in a profession that matched her passion. Fate decided on a wonderfully different role for Linda. Also, in 1968 she met the love of her life Gary Ward. After a short engagement they wed on October 19, 1968, going on to have two children Tricia Ward Maruo and Gary Stephen Ward. After Linda’s first child, together Linda and Gary decided that Linda would stay at home with her children to concentrate on being an excellent mom. Linda was the central figure in the lives of her children and never missed an opportunity to support them, whether it was participating as a classroom room mother, watching a school play, or cheering for both kids at their multiple sporting events. Linda was often the team mom for Tricia’s soft-ball team Southwest Coating Systems and kept score for Steve’s baseball teams and spent time as the official scorekeeper for Jim Parker Park’s Little League baseball teams.
One of Linda’s favorite passions were her grandchildren, Rylee Jones Gatewood and her husband Derron Gatewood, Reed Jones and his wife Ravyn Jones, Morgan Ward, Raygan Jones, Paige Ward, and Landry Ward. Later in life she was perfectly happy spending quality time with her three great grandchildren, Kaegan Jones, Remy Jones, and Sophia Gatewood. Linda was proud of all her grandchildren and felt blessed by all of them. Linda was honored that four of her granddaughters were either working in the nursing field or pursuing a degree in the medical field, Rylee Gatewood works as a nurse with her BSN, Ravyn Jones is a RN, Raygan Jones was just accepted into the BSN program at Texas Tech, and Morgan Ward is currently in the Speech Therapy program at Oklahoma University. Linda’s pride extended to her grandson Reed Jones who served four years in the United States Marine Corps and after serving in the military came home to serve his community as an Odessa Police Officer. She was immensely proud of her granddaughter Paige Ward on her acceptance into Oklahoma University and watched with amazement when Landry Ward competed for Permian High School’s track team, breaking a school record in pole vaulting.
Linda was a loyal and faithful fan of the Permian Panthers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, The Dallas Cowboys, and the Texas Rangers Baseball team. Linda found herself enthusiastically supporting and cheering for the Texas University Longhorns football team but only after her grandson-in-law Derron Gatewood joined the Texas University football coaching team. She would also cheer for Oklahoma University making sure to support her two granddaughters Morgan and Paige.
Linda always provided love and support for her extended family. Some of her favorite times was spending time with friends and family members including her cousins, Carole Swayzee, Becky Simmons, and her oldest and one of her dearest friends Sandy Stillwell.
Linda was dearly loved and will be forever missed by her family and her friends.
Linda is preceded in death by her mother, Pat Slay Brodnick; and her father, John Frank Smith Jr.; her mother-in-law, Beatrice Ward; her father-in-law, Daniel Ward; two brothers, Randy and Richard Brodnick; her two brothers-in-law, Mike and Phillip Ward; and her niece, Samantha Ward.
Linda is survived by her husband, Gary Ward; her daughter, Tricia Ward Mauro and her husband Pete Mauro; her son, Steve Ward and his wife Robin Ward; grandchildren, Rylee Jones Gatewood, Derron Gatewood, Reed Jones, Ravyn Jones, Morgan Ward, Raygan Jones, Paige Ward, and Landry Ward, great grandchildren, Keagan Jones, Remy Jones, and Sophia Gatewood; sister-in-law, Judy Ward; and beloved niece and nephew, Amy Ward and James Ward.
Services for Linda Ward will be Sunday October 15, 2023, at 2:00PM at Crossroads Christian Fellowship in the chapel.