Judee Ward 1937 - 2022

Judee Ward passed away August 14, 2022, at the Salem Hospital, surrounded by family and friends. She was born September 20, 1937, in McMinnville, Oregon, to Irwin James and Gladys (Martin) Wisecarver and grew up on their farm near town.

She attended St. James School and McMinnville High School before enrolling (as a “Mac townie”) at Linfield College, where she obtained a B.S. in English with a teaching license in Education. She began her lifelong passion for Wildcat football as one of the team’s five Linfield Song Leaders during the 1956-57 season, braving Maxwell Field’s muddy track to pump up the home crowd. It was there she met Paul Ward, a four-year football letterman who played on the first team of Linfield’s 65-year streak of winning seasons.

Judee and Paul married on April 18, 1959, beginning a 63-year partnership that would focus on support for local youth and athletics, community service, fundraising and charitable giving. Over the years, the couple received many awards and accolades for their generous contributions of time and money, including those from the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas High School, Dallas Booster Club and Linfield TopCat Club. A recent Itemizer-Observer article, announcing the upcoming renaming of the high school track in their honor “The Paul and Judee Ward Track,” cited Judee as “a central figure at Dallas sports events.” The article continued, “Paul and Judee have dedicated their whole life to the kids in Dallas and to Dallas athletics.”

For 14 years, Judee served as faculty adviser for the student annual and taught English, drama, speech and oral expression at Dallas Junior High School. Her dedication to her students, however, didn’t end when they left her classroom. She stayed in contact with and mentored many of them long after they’d graduated, closely following their family lives and careers, remembering all the names of their spouses and children. Over the years, she and Paul took in several youths in need of help, nurturing and guiding them to a brighter future.

Judee’s numerous friends and family members remember her open-hearted kindness, inclusivity, generosity and humor. She had a special gift for putting people around her at ease, always finding a way to make them feel better about themselves. She was invariably funny and self-deprecating, characterizing herself as “the third from the last whenever they were choosing up sides in P.E. class.” Judee often laced her conversations with colorful, somewhat “salty” language, and referred to herself as “a crusty old broad.” (Paul christened three of his vessels “Grumpy J” to honor her cantankerousness.) When asked what her favorite interests or hobbies were, Paul wryly observed, “If something was on sale, it immediately became a hobby!”

Judee is survived by her husband, Paul Ward, sister-in-law, Adrienne (Warren) Castle, and nephew, Steven Ward (Mariela) of Dallas, Oregon; brother-in-law, Grant Ward (Alice) of La Marque, Texas; and brother-in-law, Jack Ward of Porterville, California. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of Judee's life will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 17, 2022, at Dallas City Park at the Seibert/Fredrickson Memorial Shelter, 690 S.W. Brandvold Drive. Refreshments will be provided. Online condolences can be left at www.macyandson.com.

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