Margery Cornell Brearley Ward

May 7, 2018

 

 

Mother, Teacher, and Volunteer

1920 — 2018

 

 

Margery Ward died May 7, 2018. Born in Princeton in 1920, she attended public school there until she enrolled in George School in Pennsylvania. Her childhood summers were spent in New Hampshire and Montana. She earned a master's degree at Mount Holyoke College after graduating from Swarthmore College in 1941.

 

After a summer course at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, she met and married Herman M. Ward.

 

Margery then taught for one year in Bound Brook public schools. She and her husband moved into their historic 18th century house in Belle Mead in 1946 and continued to care for and restore it through their 65 years of living there together.

 

They raised two girls and two boys before Margery again became a teacher, first at Stuart Country Day School and then at Princeton High School, where she taught biology from 1970 to 1973. She also spent two summers as a nature counselor at Camp Becket, a YMCA camp in the Berkshires.

 

Margery, a devoted environmentalist, was active in local community affairs, attending meetings of the Montgomery Township Committee

and the Montgomery Planning Board during the period that 3M hoped to open up a quarry near their home; and also when Johnson and Johnson (of Skillman) was operating a polluting manufacturing facility, which was finally forced to shut down.

Prior to becoming a member of the Princeton Society of Friends

(Quakers), she taught in two other local church Sunday schools attended by her children. She taught at the Children's School of Science in Woods Hole, MA where she and her family owned a summer home. Throughout her life, she was an avid gardener and naturalist.

 

Margery was an officer for many years of the Van Harlingen Historical Society and active in their annual May in Montgomery Fair. She

and husband, who died in 2006, frequently opened their doors to scout troops, historians, and to her husband's colleagues, students and foreign guests from Trenton State College (now The College of NJ), where he was an English professor for 30 years.

 

She especially enjoyed accompanying him during three different years when he taught abroad in Greece, Germany, and Iceland.

 

In her final years, Margery was a regular attendee at the Montgomery Senior Center, where her always sunny presence will be much

missed.

 

She is survived by her four children: David B.Ward and wife

Alison of Falmouth, MA; Michael Whelan Ward of Belle Mead, NJ; Gretchen Ward Warren of Saint Petersburg, FL; and Bonnie Ward Simon of New York City. Also surviving are five grandchildren: Basil and Sebastian Simon, Ray and Nicole Ward, and Jonathan Ward, his wife Sarah and her great grandchildren, Brearley and Lissie. 

 

A celebration of her life will be held later this year in Woods

Hole, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Oxfam or the Van Harlingen Historical Society.

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