Katie Starks Ward

Katie Mae Starks Ward was born August 2, 1926, in Greenville, Florida. She was one of 14 children born to Oscar and Mary Starks. She transitioned from this life on March 7, 2024, at the age of 97, in Orlando, Florida. Katie moved to Orlando, Florida in 1946, and soon after, she and her husband Lester Ward purchased a home in the Washington Shores area. Katie became a functioning member of the New Bethel AME Church in 1957. While serving a New Bethel, Katie joined and became an active member of Usher Board #1, where she served for 20 faithfully also with the Women Missionary Society, The Pulpit Aide Board on various occasions and the O.W.L.S Ministry (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors).

Katie tragically lost her beloved husband, Lester, in 1960. She quickly had to adapt and adjust to raising her 4 children singlehandedly, seeking help, guidance, and strength from the Lord.

Katie was a proud mother of 4, who saw to it that her children were well fed, well dressed, educated, respectful, and well loved. Both of Katie’s son served their country by joining the Air Force. As luck would have it; both of her daughters married Air Force men as well, upon completing their high school and or college education.

Katie leaves to cherish her memories her 4 children, Lionel Starks, Las Vegas, Nevada, Elester Mae (Johnnie) Wright, Prattville, Alabama, Roger (Margaret) Ward and Veronica Clemons; all of Orlando; 11 Grandchildren, 25 Great-Grandchildren, 17 Great-Great Grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, cousins, and a hand full of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law, Gardell Clemons, granddaughter, Angela Williams, and grandson, James Bernard White.

Katie made it her life’s work to attend to the needs of her entire family, making certain, they all knew they were loved and welcomed at her home. One on the many ways in which Katie expressed her love to her family, was by cooking home cooked meals, and inviting them over for dinner every Sunday after church.

Katie enjoyed family time. In her more youthful days, she would often visit and attend to the needs of her children whenever called upon. Katie shared a proud moment with her son Lionel during ordination as a Priest. Katie willingly shared her home with her children and their families, while they were transitioning from one military bases to the other.

Along with cooking, Katie also enjoyed reading, watching T.V.., fishing, eating fish, and listening to the radio until she fell asleep. For 20 year, Katie would wake up every morning and travel back and forth to work and Walt Disney World, until she retired from the housekeeping department.

Katie Mae Ward will always be remembered as “the mother who can take the place of others, but whose place no one can take.”

Message of Grama Katie from your grandkids: “Grama Katie, you taught us everything we know, but you didn’t teach us how to live without you.” We love you, Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.

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