Jessie Carl Ward went peacefully to rest in the arms of his Saviour Jesus Christ with family around him on Thursday, January 12, 2023.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Eva Pearl Crocker Ward; his son, Jessie Carl Ward II; his granddaughter, Sarah Jane Bodenhamer Lopez; his parents, Jessie Calvin Ward and Lovina Magdalena Peters Ward; his brothers, Daniel (Bud) Ward, William (Bill) Ward, and Jack Ward; and his sister, Stella Ward Finley.
Jess was born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on June 24, 1937. He left school early to help his family work on the farm and joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was seventeen years old. After he was honorably discharged, he completed trade school and worked in HVAC throughout his life. He moved to the Rio Grande Valley with his wife and family in 1967 to attend Rio Grande Bible Institute in preparation to serve as a missionary in Mexico. After which they lived in Dallas for a year, then moved to Harlingen. For the next eleven years, the family lived in Mexico and other Valley cities. In 1980, they returned to Harlingen. He called Harlingen home for forty-plus years.
Jess was called to preach and for over fifty years served God in many ways. As a missionary to Mexico for seventeen years he impacted countless lives, presenting Christ to any who would listen. When he was not on the mission field, he served wherever he was needed. He was a faithful member of Central Baptist Church since 1969, where he taught Sunday School for many years, and was always ready to serve as pulpit supply or provide other support.
After moving off the mission field, he worked as an HVAC technician at TSTI/TSTC for eighteen years until he retired in 1999.
After retiring, he spent time tooling leather and making special gifts for family and friends. He loved to cook and made sure his daughters and sons could prepare food and take care of themselves. He was also a skilled mechanic and used his skills to help others and made sure his sons and daughters knew how to take care of their own vehicles. He also enjoyed fishing and was always ready to go whenever there was an opportunity.
He is survived by his children, Eva Marie Clement, Carolyn Bodenhamer (Dave), Christine Stubbs, Charles Ward (Catherine), Joseph Ward (Kim); his grandchildren: Donald Ward, Dale Ward, David Bodenhamer II, Jessie Ward III, Heather Ward, Kevin Ward (Joanna), Sharon Lowery (Billy), Shanna Stubbs, Loree Ward, Jackie Ward, Amber Riggs (Richard), Nickie Olsen, Mariana Arnold, Kitty Staples, Amanda Plaisance, Samantha Gillet, Christopher Jenkins, Courtney Conway, Scotty Williams and Sydney Williams; his great-grandchildren, Alexander and Dallas Ward, Jacob, Isaac and Daniel Sanchez, Christopher and Addisyn Lowery, Elizabeth Riggs, Kylie and Nathan Andrew Olsen, Avery Andrew and Ashtyn Ray Plaisance, Lilly Jones, Aubree Wilkerson, Sabbath Staples, Torryn Joseph Plaisance, Paul Gillet III, Brielle Rose and Adeline Camille Brown, Brynliegh, Madison, Christopher Jr., and Asher Jenkins; Marie Murray, and Alice Kasher and Maclovio Reyes-Moreno; and his sister, Thelma (Harold) Ragland.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, January 19, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home. A Homegoing Service will take place Friday, January 20, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Central Baptist Church, 122 W. Filmore Avenue, Harlingen, Texas. Following the service, Jessie will be laid to rest with full military honors at Ashland Memorial Park.
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