On August 25, 1942, in Tensas Parish (Waterproof, LA), God blessed the late Roberta W. Johnson and Will Lawson, Sr., with a girl child whom they named Josephine.
Josephine grew up on a small plantation called Ellashed. She started her education in the Loam Lane School System until the 8th grade and completed her GED at Lisbon Elementary School in the early 70’s.
Josephine accepted Christ at an early age, under the leadership of the late Rev. T.J. Howard. At the Greenfield B.C. of Waterproof, LA, she served as a choir member. Many times the pastoral leadership exchanged hands, yet Josephine stayed steadfast. Finally, the torch was handed down to Rev. James Beverly. Through the years, and the decline of membership, the First United B.C. was born. Because of the love and dedication of her calling to sing, Josephine made the transition. She vowed to “sing if she had to sing by herself!” Mother sang songs like, “Move Up-Stairs, Struggling, and Chilli Jordan.”
Josephine was the youngest of 18 maternal children. All preceded her in death, including her baby girl, who Josephine named Mary Alberta. Also preceding her in death is one paternal brother, Will Lawson, Jr.
On October 5, 2019, our beloved Josephine “Baby Jo” Ward received her wings. She leaves to mourn her transition: seven children, Bobbyetta Ward, A.C. Ward (Equila), Sherry Ward (Johnny), Joseph Ward (Debra), Latecia Jones (Keith), Freddie Ward (Anna), and Jackie Ward (Charlotte); two brothers, Lee Andrew Carrol and George Lawson (Katy); 38 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three godsisters, Rose Alice Beas, Dorothy Ellis, and Annie Morales; two godbrothers, Henry Jordan, Jr., and Charles R. Scott; five godchildren, James Washington, LaShandra Haynes, Yolanda Hayes, Carol Davis, and LaShonte Jones; one aunt-in-law, Mary L. Tucker of Baton Rouge, LA; and a host of other relatives and friends.
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