Neva C. Ward went to be with the Lord on November 13, 2020. She passed peacefully in Meyersdale, PA at Rest Assured Living Center. She was surrounded by love in her last days with her family and the devoted staff at Rest Assured and Three Rivers Hospice. She was born August 1, 1937 in Titusville, PA to Otis T. Copeland and Hazel I. (Neely) Copeland, Pleasantville, PA. She was 83.
Neva graduated from West Forest High School in 1955 and enlisted in the US Air Force after graduation. She served four years, stationed in Texas. After her military service, she enrolled in Clarion College and attained a BA in Education and later, a Master’s Degree from Penn State. Neva taught school in Pleasantville, Sugar Grove and Lewistown, PA. She moved to Warfordsburg, PA in 1970 where she taught elementary school at Southern Fulton School District unitl her retirement in 1985. Post retirement she returned to Pleasantville, PA where she lived on the Copeland farm in Stewarts Run. In 2002, she moved to Berlin, PA (Somerset County) to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.
Neva was a faithful servant of the Lord and was devoted to Bible study and her church throughout her life. A true educator, Neva loved to learn new things. After her retirement, she taught herself to use the computer, became involved in genealogy research, volunteered for women’s services and was active with several other organizations. She loved listening to music and singing, gardening and walking outside. Neva was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in her early teens. The disease robbed her of her sight but never stopped her from attaining her goals and staying active. She was partnered with her Leader Dog, Annie, in 2006 and they explored together until Annie’s retirement. Annie passed on in 2019 after 12 years with the family.
She is survived by her daughter, Nyla (Ward) Shreckengost and Brent, Garrett, PA; grandchildren, Ranie L. Shreckengost, Pittsburgh, PA and Aleya G. Shreckengost, Garrett, PA, a brother Terrance L. Copeland and Ellen, Wadsworth, OH and niece, Denine Copeland also of Ohio. She was preceded in death by her parents, former husband, Charles M. Ward, and a nephew, Richard O. Copeland.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Norman J. Wimer Funeral Home. There will be no public visitation, all services held will be private. Burial will be at Stewart Run Cemetery in Pleasantville, PA, (Harmony Twp, Forest County near Tionesta). Memorial contributions may be made to the Tionesta Lions Club PO Box 535 Tionesta, PA 16353, or to the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind 555 Gettysburg Pike, Suite A300 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.
The family would like to recognize the staff of Rest Assured Living Center and Three Rivers Hospice for their outstanding care and their love for Neva. Especially during this COVID pandemic, the staff of those organizations were Neva’s family and we will be forever grateful for their devotion.
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