Mrs. Julia Ann Collins Ward, 79, of Mount Airy, passed away Friday night, February 3, 2023, at Central Continuing Care. Mrs. Ward was born May 19, 1943, in Patrick County, VA, the daughter of the late Fred Landress and Julia Annice Epperson Collins. Julia Ann spent her early career working at the family’s restaurant, The Claudville Café. When her daughters started elementary school, Julia Ann followed her children and retired from the Patrick County School System, holding various administrative office positions through her many years of service. Julia Ann was thought highly of by the abundance of kids that passed through and by her desk over the years. She had a nurturing demeanor, outgoing personality, and good sense of humor that made all the kids as well as adults feel welcomed and comfortable in her presence. Julia Ann spent her summers traveling as her work allowed her the time to explore, which she truly enjoyed. Each summer, along with her mother, aunts, and uncles, the group would route out each summer a trek cross country, stopping in each state making sure to see all that each state must see. One summer they would route the southern tier, the next a central trek and they continued to do for many years, seeing all the North America beauty. She truly enjoyed traveling every summer with her family. When not traveling, her time was spent with her kids, reunions as her family was large in number, attending church with her mother with whom she was extremely close, and, last but far from least, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren which she truly enjoyed – her pride and joy. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Ward was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin Donald “Pete” Ward (was just shy of 50 years of marriage before his death in 2011); and a brother, George Donnie Collins. Julia Ann leaves to cherish her memory her two daughters, Lisa W. Walker (Rick) of Mount Airy and Tammy W. Moore (Scott) of Westfield; a brother, Darwin Collins (Vickie) of Claudville, VA; six grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; several nieces and a nephew, along with many cousins as the Eppersons were a large family. Julia Ann was able to stay at home for many years due to the devotion of Susan McHone and her daughter, Lisa. The family requests consideration in donating to Alzheimer’s research, a tax-deductible donation, at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations, Alzheimer’s Research Initiatives, P.O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1021, or online donations at https://giving.wakehealth.edu/find-your-cause/aging-alzheimers. An unknown summary of Alzheimer’s, “An inexorable loss as you lose the most precious assets of your existence – your thoughts, your memories, your relationships, and your personality traits – all the things that define you…” A casting ceremony is planned for Julia Ann in the places she loved most. Moody Funeral Services in Mount Airy is serving the family.