Mary Patricia “Pat” Ward was born into a loving household in Bluffton on Nov. 14, 1939 and passed peacefully on Jan. 27, 2020, in Indianapolis.

She was the first child of Lewis A. and Mary Eileen (Bundy) Ward, former owners of the Main Cleaners in Bluffton. She is survived by a sister, Kathy (William) Roop; two brothers, Mike (Trisha) Ward and Rick Ward; four nieces and nephews; and nine great-nieces and great-nephews. Her parents and nephew Christian Ward preceded her in death.

Pat graduated from Ball State University with a master’s degree in Art Education. Her distinguished career as an artist and educator spanned 39 years. She taught art at Washington Township Spring Mill Elementary School, inspiring thousands of children and parents with her enthusiasm and love of art. Pat was awarded the Art Teacher of the Year by the State of Indiana. She was co-founder of The Art Studio of Carmel.  She was a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church (and the Gracie Girls) in Indianapolis. Pat, an avid button collector and educator, was a long-standing member and past president of the Indianapolis Button Club. She enjoyed summers on Sylvan Lake in Noble County, entertaining family and friends.

Pat never met a stranger and will always be remembered for her generosity, wit and winning ways. She was a friend to all, and we were blessed to be part of her “family.”  Her interests were many and varied.  She was a devoted sister, aunt, friend, roommate, book club participant, pet lover (Welsh Corgis — Wiley and Owen, Scottish Terrier — Gracie, Maine Coon cats — Mosey and Niles, Rabbit — Willie), tennis/racket ball/paddle ball player, teacher, world traveler, jazz aficionado, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, comédienne, and quite simply a wonderful human being.  

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” — Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

“It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived…” Helen Walton (1919-2007)

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

Memorial contribution may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.