Mattie Mae Ward was born October 9, 1929, to the union of Lennon and Bessie Washington. She was born and raised on a farm in Dumas, Arkansas. In 1946 she married John Lewis Battle and together they had two sons, Willie, and John. They later divorced and in 1957 she married Daniel Ward. Seeking to be closer to family, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1960. She later settled in Portland, Oregon in 1972 where she lived out the rest of her days.
Mattie will be remembered for many things, especially the love she expressed to both her family and the community. She expressed this love in a number of ways, including as a committed member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church where she served on the Mother’s Board. Her work as a mother was of extreme importance to her, as she described church mothers as a source of wisdom and kindness.
Mattie enjoyed a fruitful career as a nurse’s aide. Outside of work she cherished her time in the outdoors while working in her garden and fishing. She was well known in her neighborhood for being friendly and welcoming. She loved sharing the food from her garden with all who walked by. She also enjoyed cooking, baking, singing, and playing the piano, guitar, and harmonica.
Mattie held dear to her heart the relationships she had with her family. In 2014 she moved into her son’s family home where she was deeply loved and cared for. She passed away peacefully on April 8, 2022.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Lennon, and Bessie Washington; her siblings, Eddie Washington, Ozie Washington, Susan Washington, and Ruthie Hardy; and her son, Willie Battle.
She is survived by her son, John Abdullah (Nadia), and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren.