Obituary for Shirley Ward

WISTER – Shirley Jean Ward, 82, of Wister was born July 6, 1939 in Lone Pine to Claude and Imogene (Owens) Welch and passed May 8, 2022 in Wister.

Funeral service is 2 p.m. Wednesday at the LeFlore Baptist Church with Steve Kitchens, James Cantwell and Jason Herell officiating. Burial will follow in LeFlore Cemetery, under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener.

Shirley was a life-long resident of the area, a retired radiology secretary from Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, a member of the Leflore Baptist Church, and the Choctaw Nation. After she retired from Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, she enjoyed babysitting her great-grandchildren. Shirley was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by three daughters Teresa Gadlage and husband Dave of Louisville, Kentucky, Kelly Thornburg and husband Tim of Wister and Celia Hancock and husband Mike of Sallisaw; one sister, Claudette Hamner, of Heavener; two sisters-in-law Shelba Ward of LeFlore and Marlene Ward of LeFlore; five grandchildren Justin McKinney and wife Vanessa, Katrina Jarman and Justin Mills, Garrett Thornburg and wife Kandi, Amber Gadlage and Blake Yount, and Madison Gadlage and Austin Jagger; 15 great-grandchildren Kieran Jarman, Jaelan Holt, Brody Mills, Brinley Mills, Caydence Lasater, Colton Lasater, Darrion Prina, Aspen Thornburg, Kaydence Thornburg, Zylie Thornburg, Kaynnan Thornburg, Ava Gadlage, Ashlynn Yount, J.T. Yount, and Maci Rae Jagger; several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Ray Ward; a great-grandson, Blaise Thornburg, a grandson-in-law, Richard Jarman; and two sisters Edith Ward and Brenda Sweeten.

Pallbearers are her grandsons: Kieran Jarman, Brody Mills, Justin Mills, Garrett Thornburg, Austin Jagger, Darrion Prina, and Justin McKinney.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Michael Cantwell, Matt Cantwell, Dallas Ward, Wes Ward, Anthony Ward, Joe Kitchens, Bob Waits and Blake Yount.

Mrs. Ward will lie in state from 9 a.m., until 6 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

To sign Mrs. Ward’s online guestbook please visit

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