Judith Ward, 84


Judy Ward peacefully met the Lord on July 16, 2023, surrounded by loved ones.  
She was 84 years young and led a very active life.
Judith Kay Derby was born in Detroit, to Gail and Ruth Winifred Derby, on Feb. 26, 1939. She was reared in Redford with her two sisters Sandra Derby (Tom Martin) and Diane Derby (Ed Marvin). She was the middle child of three girls and continued her education after high school at Michigan State University. There at school, she met Richard Charles Ward, from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and at the age of 19, she dated him for six years after agreeing on their second date to marry him.
They spent the next 66 years together.  
Richard and Judith resided in Michigan their whole life, but moved from Detroit to Royal Oak, when they were first married, to Rochester, to Monroe for five years, and then back to Rochester Hills again where they remained. They also wintered in Naples, Fla., later in life. They summered in Traverse City and Bancroft (referred to affectionately by Judy as The Shack/Le Shaque) as well.  
Judy had the chance to meet a large number of people in each city, and each person became lifelong friends of hers and Richard’s. Judy did her very best to always stay connected with the hosts of dear friends she made. 
Her career after college in elementary school teaching was supplanted with becoming a full-time home keeper and mother extraordinaire with the birth of her daughter, and only child, Jennifer Lynn Ward (Graff), and son-in-law Chris Graff whom she adored. She excelled in these roles to a high degree while still finding the time to support her husband in his business and socialize in the Ross Roy advertising and Chrysler community networking business circles heavily.  
She also found time for bridge and golf with great friends at Oakland Hills Country Club, mahjong and bocce ball at Pelican aisle Yacht Club, Naples, and more golf at Quail West and Mediterra in Naples.  
Judy always had time for any of her friends or family in need. Her life was recentered with the birth of her grandsons Charles Henry and Christopher Collin Graff. She adored those boys above anything in her life. Celebration of life services will be held for Judith at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church, 1340 W Long Lake Rd, Bloomfield Hills. A visitation reception will be held there on Sept. 27 from 4-8 p.m. with light refreshments. The memorial will take place on Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. at Kirk in the Hills. 
For those who are unable to attend the service on Sept. 28, you will be able to view it through live broadcasting at the Kirk. This can be found through the Kirk in the Hills website, and/or through their Facebook page (248-626-2515 is Kirk in The Hills phone number for links to view the memorial or questions). 
Judy was active most of her life with donating and always supporting Leader Dog for the Blind in Rochester, so donations to Leader Dog in her name can be made through the Leader Dog website (leaderdog.org). 
Judy was a wonderful giver of her time, talents, and money to many wonderful organizations to help people, pets, and many other causes, so donations in her name  to anywhere of one’s choosing are also appreciated.  
We are all devastated beyond words. The world was such a better place with Judy in it.  May she rest in peace now with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, ’till we meet again. 
Questions on anything, please direct to Jennifer Graff at Judy Ward’s cell (248-494-0218). Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church can be contacted at 248-626-2515
Rest in Peace Mom/Wife/Aunt/Grandma –
Judith Kay Ward 2/26/39-7/16/23
Arrangements entrusted to Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home, Clarkston.
Online guestbook wintfuneralhome.com.

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