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Ella May Ward
(April 30, 1916 - March 5, 2008)

Ella May (Highley) Ward, 91, of Shelbyville, died at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2008 in Shelbyville Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.

Family graveside services will be held on Sunday afternoon in Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville with Rev. Kevin Ray officiating. Visitation from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Saturday in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First Christian Church of Shelbyville.

Mrs. Ward was born on April 30, 1916 in Decatur, Illinois, the daughter of Wayne Jennings and Juanita May Gates Highley. She graduated from Shelbyville High School in the Class of 1934. Ella May was a beautician in Decatur and Shelbyville. She and her husband Jim also owned and operated Ward’s Furniture Store in Sullivan. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Shelbyville, Shelbyville Kuilka Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Order of the Eastern Star Shelbyville Chapter #69. She married James Alvin Ward on January 16, 1939 in Palmyra, MO. He died on December 29, 1996.

Surviving are her daughter, Rebecca Ward Freeman and husband John of Shelbyville; grandson, Justin Ward Freeman and wife Brenda of Shelbyville; great grandson, William Carter Freeman of Shelbyville; sisters, Sara Ann Field of Hoopston and Rose Ellen Doore and Ethel Louise Boline both of Decatur; sisters-in-law, Ada Highley of Texas, Virginia Highley of Missouri and Mary Highley of Decatur; aunts, Gladys Smith of Decatur, Ruth Jackson of Bakersfield, CA and Lorna Navota of Moweaqua; beloved Gates cousins; and numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jim; five brothers, Robert, Wayne, Charles and John Highley and one in infancy; and sister-in-law, Evelyn Highley.

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