The Valdosta Daily Times
Jerry Maxwell Ward Sr., 76, of Valdosta, was born in Headland, Alabama on July 26, 1936, to the late Foy and Orene Ward. He grew up in that community playing football, basketball, baseball throughout his younger years. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Samford University (then Howard College) on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in physical education. At Samford, he was coached by Bobby Bowden and remained in touch with his coach throughout the years. His first coaching position was in Newville, Ala., a small community in Henry County. After three years of winning seasons, he was recruited by the Slocumb Red Tops in Slocumb, Ala. He was head coach there for seven years. Upon leaving his Slocumb Red Tops, he went into school administration; he was vice principal at Fitzgerald High School in Fitzgerald, and later served as headmaster at Westbrook School in Quitman. Throughout his life, Jerry loved any sports events, whether it was football, basketball, baseball, or golf. He loved fishing and golfing with his grandchildren and many days he entertained all five grandchildren for a day of swimming and hotdogs. Jerry was a faithful member of the Gathering United Methodist Church and loved his church family and was active in the Emmaus community. He was loved by all of his friends and family, and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by a son, Jerry Maxwell (Max) Ward, Jr. and his wife April; a daughter, Sherri Ward Taylor and her husband Barry, all of Valdosta; a sister, Maxine Tyler of Florida; a brother, Durrell Ward of North Carolina; and five grandchildren, Stewart, Katie Lynn, and Allie Rae Ward, and Carlie and Caleb Starling, all of Valdosta; a nephew Dannell Tyler; a niece, Dewanna Bunting and her husband Douglas Bunting and great nieces Lauren Bunting and Paula Smith.
A Celebration of Mr. Ward’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, October 8, 2012, at The Gathering Church with Pastor Gary Minton and Pastor Larry Newton officiating. Mr. Ward’s family will receive friends from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to either The Gathering United Methodist Church, or the Jerry Maxwell Ward, Sr. Athletic Scholarship Fund, c/o The Gathering U.M.C., 4381 N. Forrest St., Valdosta, GA 31605. Condolences may be conveyed to the family at www.mclanecares.com. — Carson McLane Funeral Home, Valdosta.