Tribute to Miss Mabel E. Ward

Mabel Ella Ward was a person of great importance to the Union City School system. She devoted her life to the educating of the UC youths.

I was a first year teacher in 1953/54 at UCHS and Miss Ward and I had the same planning period, third period in the morning. Every day she brought a huge thermos of coffee and I brought a box of tiny powdered doughnuts and we chatted. She was a very beautiful person, loving the kids as her own and taking me under her wing as a best friend. She taught me more about teaching that year than I had learned at Ball State in four years. Her ever-present encouraging and supportive attitude brought the best from everyone she touched.

Although her obit says she was born June 1888, she told me she was to be 65 on June 1, 1954. That made her the same age as my grandmother, another reason why, I'm sure, she was so special to me. She had to retire because of her age, not because she wanted to. She even suggested that she might go over into OH to teach longer. She loved her teaching and her kids. She told me she had never married because the one true love of her life had been killed in WWI. Her obit says she taught six years before teaching in UC, but I thought I remembered that she said she'd taught her entire career right in UC. I remember her telling about coming into the new building, which seemed ancient to me at the time.

Interestingly enough she did not ever mention to me that other members of her family taught in the Union City and Wayne schools. She did say she was a graduate of Union City High School but she never mentioned that she was valedictorian of her class. This is certainly not surprising from the wonderfully outgoing person she was. There didn't seem to be a self-centered bone in her body.

When she died August 18, 1962 at Memorial Hospital, Union City, Miss Ward had been living at the Grand Apartments on Pearl Street in UC. She is buried at the Union City Cemetery. I do so hope she had had a pleasant retirement and had many friends to fill her hours. She urged many UC residents down life's path with love and devotion.

Written by Phyllis DePoy, teacher and friend