Obituaries

Judith "Judy" Councill Ward

Photo of Judith "Judy" Councill Ward
It is with great sadness and much love that we say goodbye to our dear mother, beloved grandmother and loving friend. Dr. Judith "Judy" Councill Ward, 80, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed in peace on June 1, 2022, after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Judy was born on September 26, 1941, in Pasadena, Texas, to Joseph Coby Councill and Alice Rhea King Councill. She was the second of three children. Judy graduated from Pasadena High School in 1959. While in high school she played the flute and won competitions at the regional and state level. As a young girl she rode the train by herself every summer from Pasadena to Conway, Ark., to spend time with her aunt and uncle, Ruth and Dr. Charles Robinette. She enjoyed her summers with extended family and ultimately decided to attend the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), formerly Arkansas State Teacher's College, in Conway. Judy earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1963. She was involved in a number of activities on campus including the marching band and Greek life. She pledged Sigma Kappa sorority in their first UCA pledge class, served as their President, and made many lifelong friends. Judy married Donald Arthur Ward on June 15, 1963. Judy and Don lived in Houston, Texas, for the first ten years of their marriage, and Judy taught in Houston schools during that time. Judy and Don moved to Northwest Arkansas in July of 1973 to raise their two daughters, Susan Ward Rauhoff and Sara Ward Sheehan. In addition to raising her family, Judy was a tireless community volunteer at John Tyson Elementary (homeroom mom, Halloween Carnival Chair, PTA President), led numerous Brownie and Girl Scout troops, and served on the NOARK Girl Scout Council board, now known as the Diamonds of AR, OK, and TX. The Ward family was active members of First United Methodist Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Judy served as class president of her Sunday school class for many years. Judy returned to the classroom in the spring of 1984, teaching seventh grade mathematics at Southwest Junior High School in Springdale, Arkansas, for twelve years. She then earned a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arkansas (U of A) in 1995, graduating at the same time as her daughter, Sara, who also earned a Master's degree. Judy went on to earn a Doctoral Degree in Adult Education from the U of A and win a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation which funded her life's passion for mentoring teachers in the subject of math. She also served as a member and president of the Adult Numeracy Network (the professional organization for math educators who work in adult education in the United States and a partner affiliate with the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics). Judy retired to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2008. For many years in retirement, Judy volunteered helping adults earn their GED through local organizations such as UMOM by using her passion to help adults learn math. She was also an active member of North Scottsdale United Methodist Church in Scottdale, Ariz. Survivors include his daughters: Susan Ward Rauhoff, her husband Lance and their children Will and Charlie of Phoenix, Arizona, and Sara Ward Sheehan, and her husband Jeff of Dallas, Texas. She is survived by one sister and her family, Marilyn Councill Greene, Onalaska, Texas, a nephew, Jason Councill and his family of Sugarland, Texas, and one niece, Cathryn Councill and her family of Pasadena, Texas. Judy was preceded in death by her brother, Joseph "Joe" Coby Councill, Jr., her mother, Alice Rhea King Councill, and her father, Joseph Coby Councill. Visitation will be at 9 a.m., CT on June 25, followed by a memorial service at 10 a.m., CT at the Wasson Funeral Home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Interment will follow the service at Fairmount Cemetery, Gentry, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in loving memory of Judy Ward to the Alzheimer's Association: https://www.alz.org.

Published June 10, 2022

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