Rachel Woodard Ward, 77, passed away Friday, May 5, 2023 at Columbus Regional Healthcare Center, in Whiteville, NC. She was born August 17, 1945 (VE Day), in Goldsboro, NC, the youngest daughter of Ralph Hartwick Woodard, originally from Selma, NC and Rachel Dunnagan Woodard of Yadkinville, NC. Two other daughters had joined the family earlier, Sara Woodard Cartrette and Patricia Lee Woodard, both of Whiteville today. As the family grew, all five became educators in several different counties in North Carolina.
Rachel worked for over 30 years in the Craven County School System as a teacher, vice-principal and then principal, school supervisor, and as Director of the Title One program.
After retirement, she also continued working as Director of the Craven County Smart Start program. She received an undergraduate degree in Education from East Carolina University as well as her Master's Degree in Supervision and Administration, and additionally, her Sixth Year Certification in Education.
Rachel married Floyd Ward of Whiteville, NC on March 3, 2005. They enjoyed living in Floyd's old home place, a peaceful, countryside area outside of Whiteville where Floyd created an amazing tropical garden, producing a delicious harvest not normally grown in Columbus County.
Anyone who knew Rachel could testify for her love of homeless cats. All shapes, sizes, or genders were blessed when Rachel found them or they found her. Her patience, time spent teaching them to behave, going to bed using a certain routine of jumping from one chair to another, and all kinds of other cat "tricks" were her specialty. One thing was certain: Rachel was the boss...and the cat obeyed...no arguments.
Floyd has 3 children: Stephan Ward, Jonathan Ward and Michael Linseth. Another son, Dana Ward passed away several years ago. Rachel is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Sorrow fills our hearts at this very sad time, a sorrow that is deep and personal. We believe, however, that our beloved sister rests now with all those who have gone before her and that there is rejoicing in heaven... She nurtured all the little children, her friends, her co-workers, the people on the street and her family ... with all the love she had and we have been eternally blessed for it.
Rachel's visitation will be held at McKenzie Mortuary Chapel, 112 Jefferson St, Whiteville, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 from 6:00 pm through 8:00 pm. Rachel's funeral service will be held at the Whiteville United Methodist Church on 902 Pickney Street in Whiteville, NC at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. Burial will be at the Ward Cemetery, 614 Arn Ward Rd., Whiteville.
Please visit our tribute page to leave condolences for the family. McKenzie Mortuary, 112 Jefferson St, Whiteville, NC is serving the Ward family