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Funeral Service

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory- Downtown Suffolk
Saturday March 12th, 2022

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R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory- Downtown Suffolk
Saturday March 12th, 2022
10:00am - 11:00am

View Details

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Joyce Gatling Ward

Joyce Gatling Ward, 90, died peacefully on March 9, 2022 with her children at her side. She was the daughter of the late Wilfred C. Gatling and Katharine P. Gatling. 


Joyce was a graduate of Suffolk High School and Longwood College. She spent her teaching career in Martinsville and Suffolk, Virginia where she retired in 1991. As an active member of First Baptist Church, Suffolk, Joyce taught Sunday School and participated in several civic organizations. 


Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Michelle Ward Bunch and Bruce Bunch, and son, Walter Aleck Ward, III. Along with her grandchildren, Alissa Taylor Ward (Lauren Godbout), Tyler Justin Bunch, and Alec Jordan Ward (Marisa Borek), and special nieces and nephews.


A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at R. W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 West Washington Street, Suffolk, VA 23434.  The family will receive friends prior to the service at 10:00 a.m.  Dr. Wilfred C. Gatling, III and Dr. Thurman Hayes, Jr. will officiate.  In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church 237 N Main St, Suffolk, VA 23434 or the March of Dimes, Donation Processing Center. P.O. Box 18819. Atlanta, GA 31126. Condolences may be offered at RWBakerFH.com.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Ward, please visit our flower store.


To the family,
My thoughts are with you in your time of loss. Your Mother was such a sweet & personable lady! We enjoyed many conversations during her visits to Brewer Jewelry Co. over the years. We could tell she enjoyed teaching as well as sharing time with her Mother, whom we enjoyed too! Treasure your memories of your Mom & Grandmother!

Mollie Moore Mar 14 2022 1:02 PM

Walt, Michelle, and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. She was such a wonderful lady and will be missed by so many. I have many great memories, she was always so kind! Sending you lots of love and hugs XOXO 😘 Susan Nurney Griffin

Susan Griffin Mar 13 2022 3:26 PM

Walt, Michelle & kids,
So sorry to hear of the passing of your sweet mama&grandma. Yall are in our thoughts and prayers. May the good memories get yall thru this difficult time.
It was good to see yall after all these years though.

Candy&Joe Nickert Mar 11 2022 9:34 PM

I am so sorry to learn of Joyce's loss. Bucky and I knew her as a neighbor and friend, and she and I were in the Suffolk branch of AAUW. She was truly a dear lady. My heart goes out to all her loved ones.

Kay Mar 11 2022 3:59 PM

To the Bunch family,
Sending our condolences to the entire family. Losing your mother and grandma is very difficult. Our♥️'s are heavy and truly know how you are feeling! Hugs and prayers and know we are here for you Michelle, Bruce and Tyler. 🤗👼

Brenda and Ryan Kotrch Mar 11 2022 3:31 PM

We grew up together on South Main Street, walking to school everyday, being at each other's house for birthday parties and play. We always had a lot to laugh about when we talked on the phone. Even though we didn't see each other often, I'll miss her. Rest in peace, Joyce

Eleanor Williams Hahne Mar 11 2022 8:54 AM

Michelle and Walt, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your mother. She was a delightful lady who left a lasting impression on the many students whose lives she touched. May the good memories you have of her sustain you in the difficult days and weeks ahead.

Marvin L Fanny Jr Mar 10 2022 11:07 PM

Mrs. Ward was a very nice lady and I knew her for many years. I was a good friend to her daughter Michelle and we went to school together and graduated together. So sorry to hear of her passing. Prayers and condolences go out to her family.

Rhonda Phippins Mar 10 2022 9:42 PM

If you looked up the word "lady" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Mrs. Ward. We enjoyed seeing and spending time with her when she visited her daughter Michelle here in Northern Virginia.
Mrs. Ward's smile was contagious. We will miss her tremendously.

Harry, Tane and William Byrd, Springfield VA Mar 10 2022 9:07 PM

Mrs. Ward was my third grade teacher at George Mason Elementary School. I thought so much of her. She was a great teacher!

Janice Writtenberry Mar 10 2022 3:21 PM

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