June Hillebrandt Ward, 96, of Lake Charles passed away Sunday, February 19, 2023 in the comfort of her home.
Mrs. Ward was a lifelong resident of Lake Charles, born June 26, 1926 to Captain George Antoine Hillebrandt and Amanda Yocum Hillebrandt. A graduate of Marion High School, she was a gifted sales lady. She began her career in sales at a shoe store in downtown Lake Charles and was later transferred to Galveston where she met and later married her one true love, Thomas L. “Blackie” Ward. She later began working with deaf children as a preschool teacher for College Oaks, possibly her favorite position of her career. She also worked in sales for General Nutrition Center (GNC) where she excelled in sales as a vitamin specialist and became an advocate for Ginseng and it became a staple in her life. She worked with American General Insurance as an outstanding representative and later left the company because it no longer represented what a lady of her integrity would stand for. Mrs. Ward retired at the age of 72 after many years with Olan Mills Photography where she led the region in sales. She enjoyed many hobbies throughout her life: sewing, crocheting, flower gardening and decorating her home. She loved cooking, music and dancing and had a personality of fun, energy and entertainment that was sure to brighten the spirit of any room she entered. Amongst all, some of her greatest times were spent traveling: business trips with her husband, road trips and international travels with her daughter and visits with her son. Her most memorable times were countless weekends with her husband and children at their camp, “Ward’s Sugar Shack” at Barnes Creek where she fished the weekend away until she dressed and made up for church Sunday morning. She was a lady of faith and prayer, a member and Sunday school teacher of Sale Street and University Baptist Church. She shared her love of the Lord and encouraged the acceptance of Christ in everyone she saw a need. She was a servant of the Lord with a kind and generous heart that would without hesitation recognize and fulfill a need of others. Most importantly, Mrs. Ward will be remembered for her overwhelming love and devotion to her family and her fierce loyalty to her children.
She leaves to cherish her memory, a son, Terry Michael Ward of Phoenix, AZ; daughter, Tammie Rae Palace Haubner and companion, much adored by Mrs. Ward, Reed Mendelson of Lake Charles; four grandchildren, Victoria Palace Venturi (Peter) of Portland, OR, John Michael Palace (Elizabeth) Jupiter, FL, Amy Rae Muniz and Connor Thomas Ward, both of Phoenix, AZ; five great-great grandchildren, Zelda Muniz, John Henry Palace, Parker Josephine Venturi, Jack Wilder Palace and Wilshire James Venturi; many dearly loved nieces and nephews and two brothers-in-law, Joe Ed Ward of Hillsboro, TX and Jerry Ward (Janet) of Arlington, TX.
She was preceded in death by her husband of thirty-five years, Thomas L. “Blackie” Ward; granddaughter, Sara Jessi Ward; parents and eleven siblings.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday, February 28, 2023 in the Chapel of Johnson Funeral Home of Lake Charles. Chaplain Willie Bellard will officiate. Interment services will follow in Consolata Cemetery. Visitation Monday will be from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM and will resume Tuesday at 9:00 AM in the funeral home.
The family of Mrs. Ward wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the nurses and staff of Heart of Hospice for the kindness and compassion shown to their mother and family.