Christian 03

Rev. Ward Nathaniel Sipes

March 31, 1934 ~ October 4, 2020 (age 86)


Ward Nathaniel Sipes, age 86, died on Sunday, October 4, 2020, in Jackson, Michigan, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease.  Reverend Sipes is survived by his wife, Bonnie Lee (Burke) Sipes, of Jackson; his son, Gregory, of Indianapolis; his daughter, Tamara Jo Bailey, of Indianapolis; and his son Tadd, of Roanoke, Virginia; a half-brother, Paul, of Atlanta; and a half-sister, Betty, of Clio, Michigan: five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his brother, John Charles, of Rochester, New York; and his mother and father.

Ward was born on March 31, 1934 in Fenton, Michigan, to parents Ward Edward and Bertha Marie (Callard). He graduated from Spring Arbor High School (1952) and Spring Arbor College in 1954 (A.A.) and 1980 with a bachelor’s degree. He married Bonnie Lee Burke in 1954 and the couple had three children.

Reverend Sipes served several churches in the East Michigan Conference of the Free Methodist Church, including Flint, Bay City, Midland, and Davison.  He concluded his full-time ministry as Conference Superintendent of the same conference he served as a pastor, retiring in 1999. During retirement he served on the pastoral staff of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church.

Ward was a great family man and a loving father. He was deeply involved in the church for the majority of his life. He enjoyed people, sports, and music. His family and friends will always remember him as a gregarious, fun-loving, and ­­­­­­­caring person. 

Memorial observances will be announced for a later date, likely the spring of 2021. Memorial gifts can be made to International Child Care Ministries (Free Methodist Church of North America) or Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Ward Nathaniel Sipes, please visit our floral store.


The Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.


International Child Care Ministries
770 N. High School Rd., Indianapolis IN 46214
Tel: 1-317-616-4740

Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church
120 E. Main Street, Spring Arbor MI 49283
Tel: 1-517-750-2400

© 2020 Watson Funeral Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy