Katherine “Kathy” Riley Ward, 84, of Annapolis entered eternal rest on August 17, 2019, with family by her side at the Tidewell Hospice House in Venice, Florida. She was preceded in death by her husband, John A. “Jack” Ward, their son Robert “Bobby” Ward, her parents, Bill and Kady Riley, and her brother Bill Riley.
Kathy will be missed by the many family and friends she leaves behind especially sons Tim (Janet) and Ray (Kay); daughters Linda Barrett, Tina Silver and Teresa Robshaw; daughter-in-law Karen Ward; Kathy’s grandchildren Jack Ward, Ben Ward, Jamie Ward Tronzo, Michael Ward, Andy Barrett, Kady Robshaw, Greg Ward, Bryan Ward and Megan Ward; great-grandsons Jack and William Tronzo and the many nieces and nephews and their families.
The daughter of General William E. Riley and Katherine “Kady” Donahoe Riley, Kathy was born on September 23, 1934, in Evanston, Illinois where her father had been stationed to serve as the U.S. Marine NROTC instructor at Northwestern University. Kathy and her brother Bill moved a few times after that including to Newport, Rhode Island, and later Washington, DC, where she attended Blessed Sacrament grammar school. When her father was sent to Turkey with the United Nations where it would have been difficult for her to attend high school, Kathy’s parents enrolled her in The International School of Geneva. Kathy learned French at the boarding school and loved her time abroad. She went on to study French at Marymount College, Tarrytown, where she completed her degree in French in 1956. Kathy met the love of her life, Jack Ward, when he came to France to visit his sister, Hope, who was also studying at the Sorbonne with the Marymount program. Kathy and Jack were married in Arlington, Virginia, on September 15, 1956. Jack and Kathy celebrated 50 years of marriage before Jack’s passing in 2007.
Kathy was a long-time member of St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis and participated in many organizations in the church and community including Marriage Encounter. Kathy was fiercely proud of her six children and could be found at their games cheering on them and their friends. She had many good friends in Annapolis and especially loved the work she did with students at Hillsmere Elementary School and Bates Middle School where she could be counted on to be a substitute teacher. She would always say that the middle school kids were her favorite age. She loved to be with people and is well remembered for her contagious laugh. Kathy loved her grandchildren and made it to as many lacrosse, soccer, musicals, and circus performances as she could; she also made it to their baptisms, first communions, confirmations, and graduations. She continued to get out into the community even as her health was making it more of a challenge; she loved Colleen Frank’s Adapted Physical Ed class at the Annapolis Senior Center and stopping in at the Annapolis Neck Library to pick up books from her favorite librarians.
A visit to Florida two years ago led to a decision to move into assisted living near daughter Tina in Venice, Florida. Family and friends continued to make visits to see her there, and Kathy made dozens of new friends from the staff at Venetian Gardens to the members of Tina’s running group.
There will be a celebration of her life at St. John Neumann Church, 620 N. Bestgate Road, at 10:30 am on Saturday, September 7 with a reception to immediately follow.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Katherine’s name to St. Mary’s Church, 109 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 or Tidewell Hospice House, 5955 Rand Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34238.