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Melba Charlene Ward


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Melba Charlene Ward Obituary
Melba Charlene Ward passed away peacefully with her family by her side after a long courageous fight with Alzheimer's.

She was a life-long member of St. Jude's Catholic church, a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Charlene was a hard working lady who had an unwavering love for her family and our Lord Jesus Christ. Melba Charlene Ward was born August 18, 1932 to Bill and Bertie Gilliam in Reed, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by her parents and two siblings, Charles Gilliam and Judy Gilliam.

Charlene moved to Alamogordo in 1959 to accept a job as hospital administrator of Gerald Champion Memorial Hospital. On April 11, 1961 she married her true love, Alton J. Ward. She was employed as administrator of the hospital until 1970 - when she became co-owner of Alamogordo Title Co.

Over the years she was owner/co-owner of many businesses and the co-founder of Fountaingate Children's Home. She was an active member of many civic and professional associations, such as: New Mexico Hospital Association, NM Land Title Association, Otero County United Way, NM Christian Child Care Association, St. Jude Mission Parish Council, United Way, Rotary club of Alamogordo and many more.

Charlene received many acknowledgements throughout her lifetime. She received: The Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Outstanding Young Women of America, Sertoma Service to Mankind Award, Rotarian of the Year, Women of Merit (twice).

Charlene enjoyed her sixteen-year involvement with the children at the Casa de Libertad Orphanage in Juarez, Mexico.

She is survived by her husband, Al Ward; her sister, Jane (Robert) Dobbs, her daughters, Denise Goldman, Em Ward and Felise (Tim) Turri; her sons, Bill (Tamara) Ward and Jarold Ward. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren and numerous loving nieces and nephews.

The family will greet friends from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home Chapel.

Services will be held at Hamilton O'Dell Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 9:00 am. Burial will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery in White Oaks, New Mexico. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of your choice.

Arrangements are being handled by Hamilton O'Dell Funeral Home, where an online guest register is available at www.hamiltonodell.com.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from May 14 to June 13, 2017
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