Mellvina “Mell” Halbert Ward, 69, of Kankakee, made her transition to her heavenly home at 9:37 p.m. Monday (Jan. 14, 2019), with family by her side.
A gathering of family and friends will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Jones Funeral Home in Kankakee. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Free Christian Center in Kankakee. Pastor Tryphenia McEastland will officiate. Interment will be in Mound Grove Gardens of Memory, Kankakee.
Mellvina was born Oct. 31, 1949, in Crawford, Miss., the daughter of Freddie Lee and Willie Mae Selvie Halbert. Mell attended the public schools in Oktibbeha County, Miss., and graduated in 1967 from B. L. Moor High School. She was employed by Manteno State Hospital until its closing and then continued her employment at Shapiro Developmental Center, from which she retired.
Upon moving to Kankakee in 1972, she joined the Friendship Baptist Church and still was a member until her health began to fail.
Mell was joined in holy matrimony to James L. Ward Jr. on June 17, 1988, in Kankakee.
Surviving are her sons, Gearl Halbert and Anthony (Cierra) Williams, all of Kankakee, and Aaron Edwards, of Springfield: her husband, James, of Kankakee; 19 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Mary Halbert, Dorothy Jean Halbert, Bernice Halbert and Martha Halbert, all of Crawford, Miss., and Emma K. Halbert, of Columbus, Miss.; her brother, Tommie W. (Annie) Halbert, of Columbus, Miss.; her uncle, James (Shirley) Selvie, of Gary, Ind.; her aunts, Leila (William) Stallings, of Texas, Lula Selvie, of Kankakee, and Della M. Selvie, of Hammond, Ind.; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and many friends, including Lubertha Orr and Sylvia Bell.
Preceding her in death were her parents; three grandchildren; four uncles and two aunts.
Please light a candle at jonesfuneralservices.com.