September 8, 2021
Barbara Ann Ward, Elberta, 83, passed away at home, September 8, 2021. She was born on the family farm near Empire to Robert and Ida Mae Esch; she was the oldest daughter in a family of ten children. On October 5, 1958, she married Edward Ward and they celebrated 54 years together until his death in 2013. She was a stay-at-home mother until Lori and Ed were old enough to be home alone after school. Barbara worked at Chimney Corners for several years and then branched out on her own cleaning business. She continued working into her 70's until her husband developed dementia and required more care. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Judy Brink, Helen Boman, Marilyn Wiggins, and Ethel Pace; brothers Robert "Bob" Esch and Anthony "Ed" Esch; brothers-in-law Donald Boman, Harry Wiggins, Donald Fortine and Virgil Pace.
She is survived by her son Edward (Susan) Ward; daughter Lori Bassett; grandchildren Brittany Ward, Jennifer Gilmer, Brittany Bassett and Andrew Bassett; great grandson Tyler Quinn, Sisters Ida Mae Fortine, Marsha Blood (Sherman) and Julie Hopkins; sister-in-law Cornelia Esch; many nieces and nephews. Barb was a loving and kind mother, sister, aunt and grandmother unless she felt that a little tough love was needed, and she had no problem doling it out. Graveside service was Tuesday, September 14, at Gilmore Twp Cemetery. Please direct and contributions to Animal Welfare League or BACN and try to do something kind each day. Arrangements provided by Jowett Family Funeral Home.
Published by Benzie County Record Patriot on Sep. 21, 2021.