Shrewsbury – Lucy Hastings Ward, 93, a lifelong resident of Shrewsbury, died peacefully Jan. 5, 2021 after a brief stay in the hospital.
Lucy dedicated her life to caring for others – as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, classmate and teacher. She raised three boys, was an active and involved Grammy and lovingly tended to and nursed her mother as well as her husband Bruce’s mother and grandmother in their final years. Throughout her life, she consistently showed up for those she loved, supported those in need of her fortitude, and welcomed friends, family (and sometimes strangers) into her home. Her best days were when she could help and provide for others.
Born on December 9, 1927 to Frank B. and L. Theresa (Nims) Hastings, Lucy grew up in a tiny house on Nelson Point. She attended Coolidge School and graduated from the former Major Howard W. Beal High School in 1945. After commuting by train for four years and majoring in math, she graduated from Boston University, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1949. Growing up in the Great Depression and through World War II forged her resilience and thrift.
Lucy met her husband Bruce (SHS 1940) after he returned from the Navy and they wed on June 24, 1950 at the Fairlawn Methodist Church. Their marriage was enduring and commitment to one another steadfast. Bruce would say that he knew Lucy was his “needle in a haystack” after their first date on a hayride. Lucy however was not immediately smitten as he took her home that night in his dump truck.
Lucy moved into the Ward family home at 993 Main Street, with Bruce’s widowed Mother and Grandmother, and where Bruce operated his business Ward Truck Service. The family grew quickly with three boys in five years. Despite having all those people to care for Lucy made time to be a substitute teacher at Shrewsbury High and handle all the bookkeeping and dispatching for the trucking business. Bruce absolutely loved driving his green Mack trucks and Lucy found joy in washing his green work clothes, overloading his lunchbox and taking care of all the business details. They had a wonderful long-term relationship with Spag, his family and all the employees at Spag’s Supply.
The farmhouse with large dining room, big back yard and a hill to climb became the ideal location for family gatherings. Over the years the extended family celebrated birthdays, holidays and three weddings on the property. Thanksgiving was Lucy’s favorite holiday as it combined family and food. It grew to be a two-day event and, on a few occasions, moved across the street into the Ski Ward lodge when over 40 people came to town.
Throughout her life, she served as a nexus for the Ward and Hastings families, maintaining family connections that spanned generations and geographies, and carrying on traditions.
Her strongest connection was with her husband Bruce. After his stroke, Lucy was his fiercest advocate. She took him home from the rehabilitation center to live in familiar surroundings and her love and devotion helped him to regain some of his speech and capacities. They continued to go out to eat and host family gatherings, even though it required more work from Lucy.
Lucy followed her Mother’s example of serving the Church. She taught Sunday School at Fairlawn Methodist for over 20 years, got her blind Mother and grandchildren to church regularly and was always quick to help others that needed assistance.
Late in life she joined the Shrewsbury Historical Society. She enjoyed using her keen memory and long life in town to be a resource to others.
Lucy found joy in connecting with others, whether over perked coffee at her kitchen counter, on marathon phone calls, with daily letter writing, or through serving as her class reunion organizer for 75 years. Her cookie jars were always full and wherever she went she brought a baggie of them to share.
Strong-willed and determined, she was in charge through it all and achieved her goal of living longer than all those she took care of and staying independent in her home. Lucy was predeceased by her loving husband of 61 years, business and life partner Bruce B. Ward, her youngest son David Hastings Ward and her sister Laura Cederlund.
She leaves her son Dale of Shrewsbury; her son Jeffrey and Sally of Westborough; her daughter in-law Mary of Shrewsbury; and her eight grandchildren with four great-grandchildren: Jennifer Ward and Coley Barko with David and Eliza Barko of Shrewsbury, Kerrie Ward of Northborough & St Croix USVI , Jacob Bruce Ward of Shrewsbury, Vanessa Axtell-Ward and Silas Axtell of Worcester, Barry and Meghan Ward with Wyatt Bruce Ward of Paxton, Mallory Ward and Marc Brumer with Madeline Hastings Brumer of Washington, DC, Lindsey Ward Farrar and Sam Farrar of Dallas, TX and Kristen Ward of South Boston; her brother Ralph Hastings of Greenfield, MA and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins across the country.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation period on Monday, January 11th from 10:00 – 11:00 am at the Chiampa Funeral Home ~ 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center. Her funeral service and interment will be private for immediate family only.
Lucy requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Shrewsbury Historical Society, P.O. Box 641, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or the charity of your choice.