, Muskogee, OK

May 1, 2013

Viola LaGrace Ward


— Viola LaGrace Ward, 93, of Muskogee, died Saturday April 27, 2013 at The Lakes Nursing Center in Oklahoma City, OK.

Viola was born September 26, 1919; her parents were William Milner and

Mildred DeEtta Addington. Viola attended public school where she learned to play the piano and violin; she graduated from Central High School in 1936. She enjoyed swimming and served as a lifeguard at the YWCA.  She had a lengthy work career, beginning with Kress’s, Grant’s, and Hunt’s where she spent thirty-four years, and, finally, at K-Mart where she worked for eighteen years.  She loved working with people and serving them in various ways.

Viola met the love of her life and married Jess W. Ward in August of 1942. They both enjoyed square dancing and were members of Swinging Sooners, Circle “Y”, Redman Promenaders, and founders of both the Old Forters and the Muskogee Swingers. They were charter members of Bethany Presbyterian Church where Viola sang in the choir.  She was a lady with many interests and talents.  Her hobbies included square dancing, crafts, painting, ceramics, and personal sewing.  She was a member of the Rebecca’s Club, the Muskogee Community Choir and the Red Hat Society.  One of her greatest joys in life was attending rehearsals and performances of Music Central, a barbershop chorus in which both her sons performed.  Viola enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and a special visit to China.

Viola was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jess, and one brother, William “Bill” Addington, Jr.  She is survived by her son Jim and wife Lola Ward of Oklahoma City and her son Glenn and wife Cynthia Ward of Tulsa; grandchildren Suzanne and Leon Dickens, Andrea and Kasey Riley and Robin Ward Aaron; two great grandchildren Kendall Dickens and Michelle Stone and her father Scott; special niece Patty and nephew Richard Addington; extended family Willette Stone and her daughter Katelyn Dean.

A service honoring her life will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, May 2, 2013 at Bethany Presbyterian Church with Dr. Thea McKee officiating. Burial will follow at Greenhill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Online at, by phone at 1-800-272-3900 or by mail at Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011. Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home.

Friends may send condolences to the family at