FAISON — Michael Hayes Ward, life-long Faison resident, passed away Monday afternoon, Sept. 22, 2014, at Vidant Pitt Medical Center.
His joyful life will be celebrated in a service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at Faison Baptist Church, to be officiated by the Rev. Paul Rose and the Rev. Jeff Dail, with interment following in the Faison Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at Tyndall Funeral Home from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, and at other times at the residence of his mother, 712 Cherry Street in Faison. To honor Michael's life, memorials to a charity of one's choosing is requested, and for those who wish to send floral tributes, they are welcomed as well.
Michael, a 1995 graduate of North Duplin High School, furthered his education, receiving a Bachelor's degree in business from University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2000. Regarded as a professional bartender, his career included employment at Murphy's Place in Mount Olive and Goldsboro, Southern Exposure in Faison, and with All Seasons Sports Grill in Faison, where he was employed at the time of his death. He was instrumental in the beginnings of each establishment.
He is survived by a loving family which includes his mother, Peggy McKellar Ward of the home; his father and step-mother, William M. "Billy" and Shirley Ward of Fair Bluff; three brothers, Billy Ward II and his wife, Heather, of Faison, Kris Ward and his wife, Carol, of Whiteville, and Brandon G. Ward of the home; a sister, Allison Ruth Ward and her fiancé, Jay Allen, of Mount Olive; his maternal grandmother, Ruth B. White of Chadbourn; his paternal grandparents, John M. and Mary G. Ward of Clarkton; a stepbrother, Rusty Kelly of Elizabethtown; a stepsister, Lorie Kelly of Smithfield; two beloved nephews, Wesley Michael Ward and Evan Matthew Ward, both of Whiteville; three beloved nieces, Abigeal Layken Ward of the home, Kaitlyn-Grace Love Kornegay and Layla-Ruth Halo Allen, both of Mount Olive; a special aunt, Geri Weldon of Ocean Isle Beach; two loving cousins, John Ross Cramer of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Hayes Cramer of Raleigh; several other aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Michael never met a stranger and his child-like soul drew the love of everyone he encountered. In his vast travels and work endeavors, he was able to meet many people, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of friends, family, and strangers alike. He will be sorely missed.