Mr. Michael E. Ward., age 69, passed from this life on Thursday, August 27, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.
He was born in Lima, Ohio on November 7, 1950 to J. B. and Asilee (O’Neal) Ward, both parents preceded him in death.
He was married to Faceta Ward who survives in Cleveland, Ohio
Mr. Ward was a graduate of Lima Senior High School where he was inducted into the Lima Senior Hall of Fame. He received his Bachelor degree in Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University in 1973 and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Dayton in 1988. He was the Owner of Music Works where he taught music to under privileged children. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
In 1976 he was selected as the man of the year in the Canton, Ohio. His McKinley Senior High School Band (Ohio) won numerous honors and national prominence in various parades, competitions, and performances. He played with Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin. Mr. Ward was inducted into the National High School Band Director Hall of Fame in 1996
Mr. Ward is credited with being the first African-American Band Leader in northeastern Ohio. Upon leaving McKinley after the 1993 school year he became the principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
He leaves to cherish his precious memory 2 sons; Michael Skillen (Tiffany) and Sidney Skillen both of Canton, OH. A daughter; Michelle Ward of Dubai. 7 grandchildren. 5 sisters; Mildred Stewart, Myrtle Ann Johnson (Rufus), Mary “Jana” Williamson, Marcia Henderson and Marlene Ward Smith all of Lima. A brother; Melvin Ward of Lima. Sister-in-law; Rosetta of Detroit. A host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by 2 brothers; James O’Neal, Morris Ward. A sister; Willa Mae O’Neal. 2 brothers-in-law; Rufus Williamson, Clarence Smith, John Henderson and Robert Stewart.
Homegoing services will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Thomas G. Smith Funeral Home, in Cleveland, OH.
Graveside Services will be held on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, Ohio.
Services entrusted to: JONES-CLARK FUNERAL HOME, INC.
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