Cover photo for Sara Bess Ward Willard's Obituary
Sara Bess Ward Willard Profile Photo
1938 Sara Bess 2023

Sara Bess Ward Willard

April 16, 1938 — May 23, 2023



Sara Bess Ward Willard, age 85, of Asheboro went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Randolph Hospital.

Mrs. Willard was born on April 16, 1938 in Sylva, NC to James Milas and Elizabeth Bishop Ward.  She loved the Lord and was a member of First Baptist Church in Asheboro.  In addition to her parents, Sara Bess was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Billy H. Willard, brothers, Dan Ward and James Ward, and sisters, Hattie Jean Ashe and Edwina Willard.  Sara Bess loved painting, shopping, going to the beach, and especially the mountains, with her family.  She loved spending time with her church family and formerly taught preschoolers in Sunday school at both First Baptist Church of Asheboro and First Baptist Church of Randleman.  Sara Bess loved her grandchildren.  She was cherished and deeply loved by all her family.

She is survived by children, Debbie Kennedy of Archdale, NC, Sandy Routh (Tim) of Villa Rica, GA, Brian Willard (Jennifer) of Julian, NC, Angie Hunter (Dave) of Denver, NC, and Ryan Willard of Charlotte, NC; grandchildren, Beau Routh, Nicole Routh, Taylor Kennedy, Christian Kennedy, Justin Willard, Kaleb Willard, Tommie Hunter, and Lissie Hunter; and many beloved nieces and nephews and not to forget her most adored granddog, Ginger Petunia Nene Willard.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the many health care professionals of the Progressive Care Unit and Dr. Kumar at Randolph Hospital.  The level of care, compassion, and professionalism was excellent.  The family would also like to express a special thanks to the staffs of Clapp's Convalescent Nursing Home, TerraBella, and Brookdale Senior Living for the care and compassion given to Sara Bess.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 2:00-3:00 pm at First Baptist Church, 133 North Church Street in Asheboro. A memorial service will follow on Saturday at 3:30 pm at the church with Rev. Mark Hall and Rev. Stephen Owen officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to First Baptist Church, 133 N. Church St., Asheboro, NC 27203 or the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601.

Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the Willard family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sara Bess Ward Willard, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 27, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Starts at 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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