Joan Marie Ward was tenacious from the day she was born. Although Joan Marie was diagnosed with developmental disabilities and Cerebral Palsy at an early age she never let that define her. She passed away on Friday, October 14, 2022 at her Westford home with her mother, sister and brother who were her biggest advocates by her side.
Joan Marie never gave up and crammed a lot of life in her 65 years. Her mother recalls how she would not wear shoes with velcro because her sister and brother did not. She was determined to learn to tie her own shoes, which she eventually did.
Joan was the middle child of the late Walter Ward, Jr. and Marie (Lentino) Ward of Westford who survives her. She was born in Boston on December 6, 1956, and resided with her family in Lincoln for 36 years prior to moving to Westford.
Joan loved music and singing and had a beautiful voice. She looked forward to singing the hymns with her mother at St. Catherine Church in Westford. Joan Marie taught herself to play the piano from memory and relished the chance to play "Happy Birthday" for family and friends. She had the lead role in the Minute Man Arc Day Program production of the Wizard of Oz in which she loved singing Over the Rainbow and invited the audience to sing along with her. Joan Marie loved parties and was considered the life of the party at the Derby House in Concord. She also enjoyed spending time at the Nu Path Day Program since 2008.
Joan Marie's family would like to thank everyone for their care and support throughout her illness.
Surviving her besides her mother Marie are her brother and sister in law, Walter III, and Elizabeth Ward of HI; a sister and brother in law Cynthia and Robert Stella of Westford; nieces and nephews, Coleta Marie Ward, Mary Jane Ward, Eliza Mae Ward, Christopher Stella and his wife Kelsey, Daniel Stella and his wife Kristen, Francesca Stella; great nieces Caden and Lexi Marie; and many cousins, friends and caregivers and organizations throughout her life.
Relatives and friends will gather to celebrate Joan Marie on Tuesday, October 25th at Blessed Trinity Parish - St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, 107 North Main Street Westford from 4 until 6 PM. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11:00 AM. Burial will be in Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations in Joan Marie's memory can be made to the Derby House, 51 Derby St, Concord, MA 01742, or Nu Path 7 Liberty Way, Westford, MA 01886.