Gail Ward

Gail was promoted to glory and into the arms of her blessed lord and savior Jesus Christ on Sept. 7, 2020. She was born April 13, 1947 in Mishawaka, Indiana to the parents Willis and Marie Nee: Riemer Poor. Gail’s father died when she was very young and her mother remarried Richard Poor and the family relocated to Cambria, WI.

In Gail’s early years she and her brother, Bill, cut wood and shoveled long driveways to help out while their mother worked full-time. She grew up fast helping to cook and care for her three younger sisters and brother. Her childhood was tough, but her mother assured her that God would care for them. Gail was an active member of Randolph United Methodist Church, where she learned to turn her hardships into strengths and become the compassionate person everyone knew her to be.

Gail graduated from Cambria High School and with a loan from Grandpa Jung went to beauty school in Milwaukee. There, she worked as a nanny to help pay her way through school. In February of 1968, she met the man she would come to regard as the love of her life. On April 12 of the next year, she and Steve Ward were married. They started a family in Milwaukee with the birth of their first child, Lori, in 1972. They welcomed their second born child, Roy, and bought their first house in Appleton in 1974. There they joined the First United Methodist Church, forging long-lasting friendships and solidifying her relationship with the lord. Gail was also fortunate in joining a group of ladies there who remodeled the nursery of the church and effectively became a second family to her. Their twins, Amy and Heather, were introduced to the world in 1976.

Gail and Steve realized they were their happiest while serving the lord and in 1990 began pastoring a small church in Black Creek. The next year they were called to serve in Siren and Lewis. Gail had true love and appreciation for both God and God’s people. During the course of their ministry: she led bible studies, lady prayer groups, mission work, and helped organize numerous community fundraisers and meals. Gail and her close friend Mary served the young members of the church by leading its youth group. Additionally, she and her sewing sisters lovingly crafted 250 quilts each year to be exported to Mexico. Her devotion to others clearly impacted the lives of many deserving souls.

Gail was well known for her kind and magnanimous spirit, serving as an inspiration to all who knew her. Hospitality was one of her many gifts and loving children was central to her core principals. In her youth, Gail dreamed of becoming and one day became a loving mother and second mom to so many more. Her home was extended to anyone in need and whoever desired to feel welcome and fed. Over the last 12 years, Roy and Papa’s cross-country team wouldn’t miss Grandma Gail’s annual mostaccioli dinner. Her love of cooking and giving to others could be seen in strawberry jam, canned peaches, frozen sweet corn, tomato sauce, frozen beans, banana bread that she loved sharing with others. She lived by the tenet that love shouldn’t be hoarded and isn’t really love unless and until it is given away to others.

Gail enjoyed gardening, sunsets, time with friends and family, sewing, golfing, playing cards, camping, quilting, puzzles, cooking, baking, and doing all things in the service of others. Her recent years were spent surrounded by adoring grandchildren who will deeply miss her affection, laughter, encouragement, and wonder regarding their uniqueness as little people she loved. Her greatest joy came from her time spent with them, reveling in their riotous presence and being the recipient of their unyielding love.

Gail was preceded in death by her parents, Marie & Willis Poor and dear friends, Mary Yambrick, Angie Chelmo, and Marilee Kuhn.

She’s survived by her husband, Steve; her four children, Lori (Web) Ward-Macomber, Roy (Krissa) Ward, Amy (Jamie) Ward-Kelley, Heather (Tom) Andrew; grandchildren, Webster (Tessa) Macomber, Kelsey (Jason Harrington) Macomber, Nathanial, Elijiah, Fiona, Amelia, Gail, Evelyn, Madison, and Isabela; great grandchildren Bowen and Spencer; siblings, Bill Poor, Sylvia (Dan) Swan, Becky (Brian) Jacobs, Jeanie Korth; Aunt Patsy Prill; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

We miss and love her and feel comfort in the knowledge we will see her again.

An outdoor visitation was held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 from 1- 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Falun with the service beginning at 3 p.m.

Per the family’s request, guests attending in person were asked to wear masks and respect social distancing. The family will only be accepting virtual hugs.