Clara Novita Ward

  • Ward

Clara Novita Ward was called from this life to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Tuesday morning, December 22, 2020. Her passing was in the

presence of her children and husband at home. Novita was also attended for by loving and caring professional nurses during her final days she spent at home.

Novita was born on July 29, 1940 in Madill, Okla. to Richard “Richie” Thomas Freeman, Sr and Clara Nadine Freeman.

Her father was a carpenter and contractor. He served in WWII and was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and held as a prisoner of war until he was liberated by Allied forces at the end of the war. Her mother, Clara, was a professional seamstress at the dress factory in Whitesboro, Texas, and the pants factory in Madill, Okla.

Novita graduated from Madill High School in 1958, then attended Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla. She then transferred to Southeastern State University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree with a major in Chemistry in 1962. She began her teaching career at Greenville High School in Greenville, Okla. teaching ninth through twelth grade science. While teaching, Novita continued her education, earning a Masters of Science degree in Mathematics in 1965. She moved to Blackwell, Okla. to teach chemistry and other sciences in 1964.

Novita married her husband, Jon Ward, July 30, 1965, at Lake Murray Chapel, Love County, Okla. Novita and Jon moved to Wichita, 1996, where she taught science at Derby High School until she became pregnant and the school district forced her to resign before the baby was born. After their daughter was born, Novita completed the year teaching math at Roosevelt Junior High. The family later moved to Grenola, Kan. where Novita was hired to teach chemistry, physics, and biology at South Elk High School.

In 1973 they relocated to Paris, Texas from where Novita drove to Grant, Okla. to teach high school math. In 1980, they moved to Gainesville, Texas and Novita taught math at Muenster, Texas. She moved to Gainesville Middle School and taught math until she retired from public school May, 2011 but kept teaching math at NCTC until May, 2020. Novita’s career in education spanned a total of 58 years.

Novita was preceded in death by her parents, Richie and Clara Freeman and her younger sister Phyllis Taylor. She is survived by her husband, Jon Ward; her daughter, Andrea Ward, her son, Grant Ward and wife Barbara and their sons Grady and Gavin; her daughter, Stephanie Hilbun and husband Tom and their children Annie and Isaac; her older sister, Nellie Gill; and her younger brother, Richard Freeman, Jr.; and six nieces and nephews.

Memorial service will be held at 2:00 on Wednesday, January 6, 2020, at the Watts Memorial Chapel in Madill, Okla. Chris Webb will officiate the service. Service will be under the direction of Watts Funeral Home of Madill, Okla. Condolences may be sent to

The family asks that in lieu of flower, a memorial contribution may be made in memory of Clara Novita Ward to the National MS Society.