Gladys Ward


Mrs. Gladys Beach Ward peacefully passed away at home on March 10, 2024. Gladys Beach “K” Ward was born March 16, 1923, to Mary Elizabeth and Henry Clyde Beach. The youngest of five children, Mom loved her parents and siblings Clarence, Joe, Mary, and Mabel without limits.

At the age of 14, she learned to drive a Jeep and continued driving until the age of 98 years and 7 months. She said, “My eyes are not as good as they once were and it’s time to stop.” Mom’s faith in God, family, and forgiveness was unbreakable. She was always one to encourage, forever sharing these three words, “Lord be willing,” as in, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Lord be willing.”

When our beloved father passed Oct. 8, 2013, she adapted to living alone, which took time. Yet again her faith in God and the support of her family carried her through rough seas to sunny shores. At the age of 100, Mom fell, and we knew she needed help to remain at home. Sophie Reid, Faye Tankard, Connie Moat, Betti George, and Tracy Etz all cared for and came to love her.

Our gratitude has no bounds. Angels come in many forms and kindness, compassion, and the purest love was shared and received by all of Mom’s angels. A heartfelt “thank you” to Pastor Jonathan Carpenter, the Hospice team, Riverside staff, Exmore Fire and Rescue, and all of you who prayed and took time to spend with Mom. She absolutely enjoyed the church lunches and sweet treats from Mrs. Scanlan, Mrs. Phillips, and Mrs. Turlington.  She loved to get her hair washed, cut, and curled by Mary Jennings, but never once was it ever colored.

She leaves behind a legacy of love, faith, and family values. Gladys was preceded in death by an infant girl nearly 80 years ago; her husband, E.K. Ward; and her daughter, Nancy Lee Mapp.

Those left behind to cherish her memory are her children, Deborah L. Schweiker (Donnie) and Kenneth L. Ward (Pam); her grandchildren, Lisa Hagan (Calvin), Chris Holt (Sharon), Craig Holt (Rose), Elaina Patterson (Jon), and Josh Stevens (Hannah); her great-grandchildren, David Hagan, April Hagan, Oberon Patterson, Jace Hagan, and Henry Stevens; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

May God bless and keep all of you knowing Mom lived and loved us all without condition with her unfailing faith and family.

Funeral services were conducted Thursday, March 14, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Doughty Funeral Home with Pastor Jonathan Carpenter officiating. Interment followed in Belle Haven Cemetery. Family joined friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Shore Christian Academy, 11624 Occohannock Road, Exmore, VA 23350.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore.

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