Iness Ward: Celebrating a tailor-made century | Families
Iness Ward of Pocahontas is a seamstress.
For much of her life she has pulled needle and thread through fabric, crafting clothing and quilts for her family and friends.
Today she celebrates her 100th birthday. During the past century she has stitched together quite a remarkable life.
Iness Marie Ward was born in Black Rock on July 25, 1912. Sixteen years later she married Doyle Ward. By the time she was 32 she was the mother of seven children. She was a grandmother by 40. During her years as a young mother, Iness learned to cook and sew.
She also learned to make the most of what little her family had. Granddaughter Lori Hershey says Iness would take an adult dress and, after a little snipping and stitching, would transform it into two little girls’ outfits.
When her youngest child started school, Iness began working at Brown Shoe Company. For 23 years this “disciplined worker” sewed shoes, rarely taking breaks.
In 1995, after 66 years together, her beloved husband Doyle passed away. Despite her loss, Iness continued to tailor a beautiful life.
When she was younger, Iness quilted out of necessity. At the age of 80 she did it out of love, creating 14 quilts as family keepsakes. It was just another example of what her family calls her generous spirit.
They also point to her creativity, happy marriage, love of family, strong work ethic and sincere faith in God as secrets to her longevity. They also describe her as a “gracious and grateful” woman who has “never met a stranger.” She’s outgoing and friendly and has always been able to “rebound from loss, heartache and pain.”
At 100 she is still making friends and piecing together many more memories with her 7 children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
Happy birthday, Iness. You’ve crafted a remarkable life in the last century.