Memorial Services for Coach Jerry WardSandra Stokes Walden
Posted by: Sandra Walden
Date: Oct 09 2012 12:44 PM
Jerry Maxwell Ward, Sr., 76, of Valdosta, GA, was born in Headland, Alabama on July 26, 1936, to the late Foy and Orene Ward. He grew up in that community playing football, basketball, baseball throughout his younger years. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Samford University (then Howard College) on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in physical education. At Samford, he was coached by Bobby Bowden and remained in touch with his coach throughout the years. His first coaching position was in Newville Alabama-a small community in Henry County. After three years of winning seasons, he was recruited by the Slocomb Red Tops in Slocomb, AL. He was head coach there for seven years. Upon leaving his Slocomb Red Tops, he went into school administration; he was vice principal at Fitzgerald High School in Fitzgerald, GA and later served as headmaster at Westbrook School in Quitman, GA. Throughout his life, Jerry loved any sports events, whether it was football, basketball, baseball, or golf. He loved fishing and golfing with his grandchildren and many days he entertained all five grandchildren for a day of swimming and hotdogs. Jerry was a faithful member of the Gathering United Methodist Church and loved his church family and was active in the Emmaus community. He was loved by all of his friends and family, and will be greatly missed. He is survived by a son, Jerry Maxwell (Max) Ward, Jr. and his wife April; a daughter, Sherri Ward Taylor and her husband Barry, all of Valdosta, GA; a sister, Maxine Tyler of Florida; a brother, Durrell Ward of North Carolina; and five grandchildren, Stewart, Katie Lynn, and Allie Rae Ward, and Carlie and Caleb Starling, all of Valdosta; a nephew Dannell Tyler; a niece, Dewanna Bunting and her husband Douglas Bunting and great nieces Lauren Bunting and Paula Smith. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to either The Gathering United Methodist Church, or the Jerry Maxwell Ward, Sr. Athletic Scholarship Fund, c/o The Gathering U.M.C., 4381 N. Forrest St., Valdosta, GA 31605. (Portions of Obituary from the Dothan Eagle)
A Memorial Service for Coach Ward will be held at the Slocomb High School football field this Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 PM. All former players and friends from the Newville, Headland and Slocomb area are invited.