Lafe Preston Ward, formerly of Williamson, WV, passed into God's hands on Wednesday April 10, 2013, due to complications from cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends at Hospice Atlanta during his finals days. Born in 1925 in Williamson, WV, he was the son of the late Eula M. Ward and Lafe Preston Ward of Williamson, WV. Preceding him in death was his beloved wife, Dorothy Ayers Ward. Mr. Ward also had lost two brothers, Wilbur Ward and Ogden Ward. Mr. Ward was a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, served in the US Navy in the V-12 Program, and received his law degree from West Virginia University. He served as Williamson City Attorney from 1953-1955; Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney from 1961-1971; Mingo County Board of Education 1960-1970; West Virginia State Senator from 1971-1983, serving as Majority Leader of the Senate for eight years. His Williamson law practice began in 1951 and he served on the Board of Directors of Matewan Bank which was later merged into BBandT. He was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Williamson and The Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Savannah. An avid golfer, he was a member of the Tug Valley Golf Club and the Savannah Golf Club. Always invested in education, he was instrumental in sponsoring Williamson's local Branch College of Marshall University in Huntington, WV. He worked tirelessly to improve his community's water system, Route 52 linking Williamson, WV to Delbarton, WV, and, most importantly, he secured federal funding for the flood wall needed to protect Williamson after massive flooding in April 1977. He led a group of concerned citizens to Washington and spoke before Congress to earn these critical federal funds. He was an eloquent, inspirational, learned man whose family, friends, faith, and country were very important to him. Mr. Ward is survived by his loving wife, Norma Brewin Ward of Savannah, GA, his sister Garnet Oakes (husband Walter) of Mathews, NC and his brother Lindy Ward of Glen Allen, VA. Also surviving him are his five children: Cynthia Ward Brasher (husband Bruce and his daughter Alison), Winston-Salem, NC, Leslie Ward Vancho (husband Vince), Trabuco Canyon, CA, Donna Ward Toulme (husband Nill), Atlanta, GA, Lafe Preston Ward, Jr., Atlanta, GA, and David Townsend Ward, Ridgecrest, NC, 13 grandchildren: Jeffrey Bennett and Laura Catherine Brasher, Michael Preston, Jeffrey Dustin JD and Bradley David Vancho, Matthew Allen, Natalie Ayers, Laura Elizabeth and John Victor Toulme, Nicholas Preston, Nathan Alexander and Katherine Elizabeth Ward, and Luke Ferguson Ward. Mr. Ward surrounded himself with additional love from his stepdaughter Kathleen Brewin Lewis (husband Jeff) and her two children, Benjamin Brewin Lewis and Rosemary Lee Lewis. Lafe and Norma greatly enjoyed their combined families. His family is grateful for the splendid care he received from his physicians, Dr. Robert King, Dr. John Moore, and Dr. Michael Funderburk, and from his devoted friend and caregiver, Candice Simplis. A memorial service will be held in Savannah on Saturday, April 20th at 2:00 at The Lutheran Church of the Ascension (reception to follow in the church's social hall). Mr. Ward will also be remembered at a later service by his friends and family among his beloved mountains in Williamson, WV, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Remembrances may be made to The Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 6 East State Street, Savannah, GA 31401, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 411 Prichard Street, Williamson, WV 25661, and Hospice Atlanta, 1244 Park Vista Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319. A. S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory
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