Betty L. Ward, 86, died peacefully, surrounded by her large and loving family, Monday, December 31, 2018, at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport.

Born in Rockland, May 12, 1932, she was the daughter of Lester and Rosan Martin Staples. Growing up on Swans Island, she attended school there and later went to work as a young woman as a housekeeper in several local inns.

Moving to South Carolina, she lived there for many years before moving to East Union and settling in Warren.

She was a talented artist, painting in oils and often enjoyed painting rocks. She kept beautiful gardens, enjoyed crocheting and made beautiful Afghans. Her family remembers her as a wonderful cook, especially her southern dishes, fried chicken, cinnamon rolls, and gravy with eggs.

She had a great sense of humor, and loved a good joke, and sometimes even a “not so good” one. She loved listening to country music, especially Daniel O’Donnell.

Betty’s number one priority in life was her family. Spending time with her children and grandchildren was her favorite pastime. She will be sadly missed by all who loved her.

Predeceased by a sister Eva Wheaton; Betty is survived by her children, David Byrd and his wife Cheryl of Union, Jerry Byrd and his wife Vera of Bangor, Betty Walsh and her husband Arthur of Lewiston, Robert Byrd and his wife Kathi of Jefferson, Rosanne Grierson and her husband Richard of Union, Susanne Curtis and husband Terry of Clark Island, Spruce Head, Annette Merrifield and her husband Brian of Warren, William Ward and his wife Linda of Warren; a sister Janet Gilley and her husband Edward of Southwest Harbor; 15 grandchildren, including one special granddaughter who was one of her caregivers, Lisa Hilt; 18 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held in May. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with the Ward family, visit their Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.