Esma Jean (Toni) Billings Ward passed away at age 92 on May 28, 2018 in Uvalde, Texas. A native Texan, she was born on April 23, 1926 in Smiley, Texas to Esma Rachel Colley Billings and John Billings. She attended grammar school in Smiley moving on to high school at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio. As a student at the University of Texas she met a recent World War II veteran, Jess Clark Ward Jr., in 1945. They fell in love and were married on December 19th, 1946. After spending the first year in Austin while Jess was a student at the University they moved to Smiley Texas where their son, Jess Clark Ward, III was born, then three years later their daughter, Cecilia Ward was born. A move to Cuero Texas lasted only a few years before the family moved to Uvalde where they made their permanent home. Toni was active at St. Philips Episcopal Church, with her prayer group, her bridge group and volunteering for hospice. It is said she felt one of her greatest achievements was being an original member of the Frio River Beach Club. She had an abundance of friends near and dear and never tired of their company. She was an avid and talented water colorist, loved spending time with her family and always enjoyed traveling both in the states and abroad. She felt fortunate to have lived such a full life. She will be missed by her children, Clark and his wife, Debbie Ward and Cecilia. As well as her granddaughter, McClain Sullivan, her grandsons J. Clark Ward and fiancee, Susan Collins and her children, Dylan, Kirsten, and Makayla, and John Sullivan, and by her great-granddaughter, Morgan Ward. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jess Clark Ward, Jr. and by her granddaughter, Brittany Ward. A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Philip's Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Uvalde Hospice, 1038 Garner Field Rd., Uvalde, TX 78801 or to the charity of one's choice.
So sorry about loosing that wonderful lady. Mom was asking about Toni. We lost Dad, (Jim Foster) last July. When I saw the Frio River Beach Club mentioned, I felt the need to make contact. What wonderful blessed times we all had together at the Frio.
Vicki Foster SherrellHarrison, AR
It was such a blessing to know this incredible woman. Toni Ward was such a great person and friend to many. I remember the fabulous stories she'd share when we had conversations. The past few years were especially memorable since I saw her every time I visited my mother at the Veranda.
Carol Kothmann ChaneyCarrollton, TX
Cecelia and Clark, I’m sorry to learn of the passing of your precious mother. Toni was always so full of life and enthusiasm. Those sparking eyes made me feel like she was glad to see me, even putting up with my almost -daily appearances in y’all’s home across Cherry St from ours. I know many folks like me will miss her sweet laugh. God bless you and your family.
Mary Foley BiesemeierPflugerville, TX
Please accept our Sympathies, Condolences and Prayers for the Family and Friends of Toni Ward during this time of loss.
David & Jo ThompsonPrinceton, TX
Please accept my most sincere condolence. I know you will have many good memories to remember her by.
Ron EllisSan Antonio, TX
Toni was a beautiful woman in every way. I will never forget her kindness during the many years I worshipped with her at St. Philip's. My sincere condolences to her family.
Susan CreechKempner, TX