Michelle M. Ward | TheUnion.com

Michelle M. Ward

Michelle Ward

Michelle M. Ward passed away Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. She was 90.

There will be a memorial gathering at 1 p.m. at "The Ranch" Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. It is open to all family, friends and colleagues.

Michelle was born in North Carolina Sept. 1, 1923, to Harold and Anna Stent. She grew up on Sullivan Island, then New York City, later moving to California. She has lived in Penn Valley for more than 45 years.

She was a registered nurse for more than 45 years and is a co-founder of Hospice of the Foothills.

She married Otis H. Ward in Yuma, Ariz.

Michelle loved the outdoors. She enjoyed greatly gardening and birding.

She was a woman who has lived a life defined by love, dignity, pride, intellect, empathy and compassion — a woman you can miss while still in the same room with her. The following is an excerpt from a poem she found while reading one day, and it stuck with her. She told her children this is how she wants to be remembered.

Part of "An Old Indian Prayer": "Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am a gentle autumn rain."

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Spencer; son Mitchell Ward; daughter-in-law Beverley Ward; grandsons Chris Ward, Justin McNair, Ben Ward and Jean Luc; granddaughters Nicole Burke and Tameka Beaudreaux; and nine great-grandchildren.

Michelle was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Otis H. Ward, and her daughter, Tonie Marie Ward.

Memorial contributions can be sent to hospice.

Arrangements are in the care of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary in Grass Valley.

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