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Mary Sangigian Ward


ITHACA - Mary Sangigian Ward of Ithaca, NY, died Tuesday evening, January 23, 2007, at her residence. She was born in Bridgeport, CT, the daughter of Khatchatour and Virginia (Chalian) Sangigian. She was 95.Ms. Ward studied sculpture with Augusta Savage and commercial art at Cooper Union. She worked as executive assistant to the director of the National War Labor Board during WWII, as a social service administrator for the National Federation of Settlement Houses, and retired from the F.W. Woolworth Co.Ms. Ward was a courageous advocate for social justice, dedicating her efforts to the Scottsboro Defense, the labor movement, and the struggle for Social Security legislation. She counted many prominent artists and writers among her friends, and was married to the late African-American playwright, Theodore Ward, who co-founded the Negro Playwrights Company with Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and Richard Wright.Ms. Ward retired to Ithaca, where she touched many people with her generosity and spirit. She had two sisters, Georgiana Posman and Elizabeth Roggen; a brother, Harry Sangigian; and is survived by her daughters, Laura Ward Branca and Elise V. Ward; two grandsons, Matthew N. Branca and Daniel N. Branca; and three great-grandsons, Corrado, Ellis, and Angelo Branca.Private services were held in Ithaca, and a memorial service will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Atlanta, GA. Condolences can be sent to: Laura Ward Branca, 328 Pleasant Street, Ithaca, NY 14850; Elise V. Ward, PO Box 566, New York, NY 10027-0566.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Feb. 5, 2007
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