Oreba Collins Ward

Feb 19, 1930 – Mar 6, 2015

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Sunrise – February 19, 1930         Sunset – March 6, 2015

Oreba Collins Ward was born February 19, 1930 to Eliza and Andrew Collins in Monroe Louisiana.  One of four children, she and her family lived between Monroe and Chatham, Louisiana.  Her maternal grandfather was one of the first colored men to own property, part of which he deeded to the town for Chatham Colored High School.  She found the Lord at an early age, and attended and was active at Mt. Mariah Baptist Church in Chatham. Oreba attended and graduated from Chatham Colored High School in 1948.

After graduating from high school, she attended Grambling University.  In 1948, Oreba also met Leo Ward who was attending Robinson Business College using his GI Bill Education Benefits. He was living with his Aunt Idell who lived around the corner from her parents. As it happened, he turned out to be "the boy next door". After relocating to Seattle, Washington Leo and Oreba were married September 28, 1951.

Upon arriving in Seattle, Oreba and Leo made Mount Zion Baptist Church their church home. She was an active member of the church, serving in the Women's Mission and Esther/Naomi Circle. For her long and faithful service with the Diaconate, she was honored as a Deaconess Emeritus. She was also active in Scouting (Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) for her three sons and (Brownies and Girl Scouts) for her daughter. The Scouting activities were just the beginning of her dedicated interest in the activities of her children.

She never missed a football game, track meet, or basketball game if one of her children was participating. It didn't matter if they were playing, warming the bench, managing or coaching. She was there. She had the reputation of being "Mom" to a lot of the members of the team. She cooked a lot of spaghetti and meat sauce for team members who lived too far away to go home and eat before a game. She also made sure that no dairy products were consumed so there were no 'accidents' during the game. She cherished the designation of Mom so much so that when one of her youngest son's friends told her his mother worked and had never made it to one of his swim meets, Oreba made sure that she attended all the rest of his swim meets as his surrogate mom. Even after her children had graduated, she continued to attend sporting events. Once her sons became high school coaches, she also felt her attendance was mandatory as a show of support to them.

Oreba also loved sewing. She was an accomplished dressmaker and passed the tradition on to her daughter and made sure her sons could sew also. She was very much into quilting and won awards for her quilting skills. In addition to enjoying activities that required the use of her hands, she also enjoyed visiting other places. A few years ago she had the opportunity to spend several weeks in Paris, France with her daughter. It was something she spoke of often and never failed to tell everyone how much fun it was and how she got lost her second day there. Most of all she loved to tell people how she learned to get around Paris on her own (without Debra's help).

Oreba was preceded in death by her son Wendell Ward and granddaughter Jocelyn Ward, as well as her brother Cecil Collins. She will be especially missed by her husband of 63 years, Leo Ward, her sons Gregory Ward (Paula) of Yorba Linda, California, and Forrest Ward of Seattle, Washington; her daughter Debra Ward of Seattle, Washington, her grandchildren Alan Ward of Yorba Linda, California, Travis Ward-Osborne of New York, New York, Kyra Ward and Peyton Osborne of Albuquerque, New Mexico, her adopted grandchildren Asha Dean of Seattle, Washington, Courtney Dean of Atlanta, Georgia, Brook Ayinde Buxton of Tokyo, Japan, Jasmin Rahman of Vancouver, British Columba (Canada) and Uzam Rahman, Sara Rahman and Lila Rahman of Dublin, Ireland (UK), her other daughters Allison Ward-Osborne of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Josie Dean of Seattle, Washington, and Marchelle Phillips of San Francisco, California and her other son Hamed Rahman (Lucy) of Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Oreba also leaves behind two sisters Olymphia Hardaway of Detroit, Michigan and Ozella Morris of Houston, Texas. Additionally, she will be missed by a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as many friends and acquaintances.






Gregory Ward
Yorba Linda, California
Apr 5, 2015

Happy Easter MOM!!!!, Love You, Miss You!!!!


Hope Shiver Keepman and David Keepman
Houston, Tx
Mar 19, 2015

Our hearts were saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs. Ward She was a dear and precious woman who gave so much to so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Leo, Debb, Greg, Forrest, and all of the members of the Ward Family in this time of sorrow.

Hope, David and Abby

Houston, TX

Danita Braxton
Humble, Tx
Mar 17, 2015

My prays and thoughts are with you guys. We will surly miss you, Aunt Oreba

Love Danita

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