Ardis I. Ward

Winooski, Vt. — Ardis Irene Ward, of Winooski, died in Fletcher Allen Health Care after suffering a heart attack on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

Born in Hartland on Jan. 22, 1925, to Watson D. Davis and Grace E. Colby, she attended Woodstock High School, Class of ‘43. Shortly after school, she married John F. Bowley Sr., a union which lasted 23 years and produced five children, John F., Thomas G., Susan D., Sheila I., and Shelly J. Bowley.

During her time in Hartland, she taught at 4H, co-founded the Hartland Riding Club with Connie Tessier and was its first president, sang in the North Hartland Methodist Church Choir, tended a large flower garden, and decorated her and others’ homes with her oil paintings. Though she could be described as a homemaker, her real calling was to inspire others with her joy for living and indomitable spirit in the face of a persistent struggle with multiple sclerosis.

Her second marriage to James A. Ward in 1971, gave her five stepchildren, Greg, Rodney, Gigi, Roger, and James II, whom she loved as her own. After her children had grown, life brought her to Franklin, N.H., White River Junction, Vt., Somerville, Fla., and finally to Winooski.

She is survived by her loving husband of 42 years; 10 children; 27 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a wide community of friends and relatives, whom she touched during her 88-year-long dance with life.

A memorial service will be held on March 16, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the LaVigne Funeral Home, 132 Main St. in Winooski. She will be memorialized at the Taftsville Cemetery, at rest with her parents and other family members.