An Appreciation: Joanna ‘Bobbi’ Ward – Gardener and Quilter

Daffodils, a quilt by Joanna 'Bobbi' Ward - Image (c)
Daffodils, a quilt by Joanna ‘Bobbi’ Ward – Image (c)

Submitted by Susan Wingfield

Joanna 'Bobbi' Ward - Courtesy image
Joanna ‘Bobbi’ Ward – Courtesy image

The Bedford Garden Club will miss Johanna “Bobbi” Ward, an Honorary Member and Past President, who passed peacefully on May 26, 2014 from breast cancer at age 78.

Over the years she served two terms as President of the Garden Club, as Secretary, Bedford Day Chair, Christmas Party Chair,  Publicity Chair and member of the Nominating Committee. She presented programs about her trips; worked on the Davis Road Triangle, Old Billerica Road Triangle, Watering Trough, Sheldon Block, Shawsheen/Page Road Triangle, and the Herb Garden at the Job Lane Farm Museum; volunteered for our Brigade Fundraiser; and created floral arrangement for Garden Club meetings.

In addition to her talents as a gardener, Bobbi was an accomplished and award-winning quilter. Her son has created a web page with images of dozens of her quilts at

Bobbi Ward’s contributions to the Bedford Garden Club

Bobbi was president [of the Bedford Garden Club] twice…first from 1974-1976. During her term, plans were submitted for the Herb Garden at the Job Lane House. (Read about the current crew caring for the Lillian Dutton Herb Garden at the Job Lane House)

In the early ‘70s, club members held multiple workshops to prepare for their fundraising boutique at the Bedford Library; Bobbi helped plan the event and said an average of 23 members attended each workshop. Club members planned and designed a model six-room colonial home decorated for the holidays. It consisted of a courtyard, living room, dining room, two bedrooms, and a kitchen. Members made arrangements of pine cone and nut baskets, dried flowers and pine cones, pine cone birds, small fruit rings, kissing balls, pine cone trees, and wreaths.

In October 1975 the Chamber of Commerce awarded the Bedford Garden Club a framed citation for their efforts in beautifying the town. The Bedford Minuteman reported that Bobbi Ward, our president, “accepted the framed certificate by joking, “I’ve had a traffic citation before, but I’ve never had a traffic island citation.”

In 1978 Bobbi suggested that the Garden Club sell chrysanthemums at Bedford Day…and we have been doing that ever since.

Bobbi was President again from 1980-1982 and during the celebration of the club’s 25th anniversary. Her message in our yearbook says, “Birthdays—anniversaries— jubilees—they are all stepping stones in the river of life. Different events shape and influence you, and the people you meet are just as varied.” Bobbi presented the club with a banner she had quilted representing the club’s anniversary and its purpose and projects. She was one of several members who displayed their works of art at the library for the garden club one year. Her display was a quilt.

Bobbi Ward was made an honorary member of the Garden Club on October 5, 1982. In 1983 the minutes record that Bobbi Ward suggested we make a cookbook as a fundraiser (but we postponed that for several years).

As Editor of the Bedford Garden Club newsletter, I have enjoyed Bobbi’s notes to me with ideas for articles and poems for our newsletter. I learned about her early years in our club while researching our club’s history several years ago.

In collaboration with staff at the Bedford Free Public Library, the Garden Club will donate a book or CD/DVD to the library in celebration of Bobbi Ward’s contributions to the Garden Club and to the town.

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8 years ago

I enjoyed this article about Bobbi Ward. She was a delightful person and an excellent artist who shared her time and talent with all of us.

Lynne Wolf
Lynne Wolf
8 years ago

Thank you, Susan, for a lovely article and tribute to Bobbi. She was/is a Bedford community treasure!

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