Holly Springs Funeral Home

Michael Ward

Michael C. Ward, a grantwriter and community development organizer, passed away on April 12, 2021, in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Mr. Ward was born on September 21, 1950, to the late John R. Ward and Edrie Ward of Marks, Mississippi.  After graduating from Greenville High School in 1968, he received his BA in Social Work from Delta State University, a law degree (JD) from the University of Mississippi, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.

In Greenville, he worked for MACE, Mississippi Action for Community Education, writing grants to fund civic improvements and leadership development in rural communities of the Mississippi Delta.  The town of Metcalf was incorporated because of his work, to give just one example.  Year after year, near or on his birthday, he also assisted backstage and with the sound production of MACE's Delta Blues Festival.  He later worked for the City of Tupelo in the Planning Department, securing funding for various civic improvements.  He then switched over from obtaining funding to selecting recipients for community grants with the Maddox Foundation in Hernando.  Finally, with decades of experience on both sides, he provided board development and leadership training with the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

Mr Ward is survived by his wife of thirteen years, Kathy Ward of Pontotoc; sister Rebecca Ward Doherty of Holly Springs; daughters Cheryl Ward Burkey of Fort Smith, AR, Heather Ward of Pearl, and Helen Ward of Meadville, PA; stepchildren Kammy Woxen, Kevin Sherman II,Odesta Jordan, Amber Dowdy, and Daniel Roberts, and twelve grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 12:00-2:00 pm on Friday, April 16, 2021, at the Holly Springs Funeral Home.  There will be a 2:00 pm service at the chapel of the funeral home with a small graveside service afterwards at Hill Crest Cemetery in Holly Springs, where he will be laid to rest next to his parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Delta Blues Museum (https://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/ or 1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 38614), with the notation "In Memory of Mike Ward" on the memo line of checks.

Please leave your condolences for the family below in the guest book by filling out the form below.  Your message will be published after review.
Name:


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Name:
Val

Date:
4/13/2021 7:35:27 PM

Message:
Although this message does not even touch the surface of the sorrow in my heart at this time, I send my deepest condolences and prayers to my sister and family members. May God's angels wrap you all in their arms through this trying time.


Name:
MICHAEL & AMY HARRIS (aa & booboo)

Date:
4/15/2021 2:46:13 PM

Message:
So sorry for your loss. I wish I had the magic words to take all the pain you all are feeling with the loss of Mike. He was always so kind and respectful every time i was around him. I'm sorry we cannot be there to celebrate his life with you due to us being out of town. Please know that ours hearts and prayers are with you all.


Name:
Sammy Moon

Date:
4/15/2021 5:05:07 PM

Message:
Mike was a valued colleague at The Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy, but he was also a friend to me. I always found him to be optimistic and upbeat -- even when he was having health issues. He was kind, generous, and thoughtful and I will miss him terribly. Mike, may you rest in peace my friend.


Name:
Kim Shultz Brown

Date:
4/16/2021 5:25:40 PM

Message:
Kathy, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know your story with Mike was not finished yet and your heart is broken. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family.


Name:
Mary Hudson Morrow

Date:
4/16/2021 8:19:27 PM

Message:
Please know my sympathy is with Mike's family. I do know two of his daughters, Cheryl and Heather. I'm sure they don't remember me. I'm sorry to learn of Mike's death. We all had some good times going to different concerts packed in his Volkswagon van. Mike was easy with paticence and a good friend to all that knew him. He will be missed.


Name:
Emily Havens

Date:
4/17/2021 4:11:09 AM

Message:
I am so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed working with Mike for several years on GRAMMY Museum MS projects. I will be praying for your family.