Celebrating the Life of

Erin Lynn Ward

September 24, 1983 - July 30, 2020

Image by Thomas Kinto




On September 24, 1983, Erin Lynn Ward came barreling into this world, well past when she was due. Almost birthed in her grandmother’s car, she was the second born to Sharon Hill and Michael Ward. Erin was as headstrong throughout her childhood as she was in adulthood.


Education and Career


Her brazenness and tenacity led her to become a collegiate basketball athlete at Chowan University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Erin worked passionately using her talent as an artist and eventually obtained a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing.  She took her formal education, along with her natural ability to learn any and everything that she could, and she formed RedWard Design & Marketing, a graphic design and web development/management company, which she named after her late grandfather. Erin took a real sense of pride in her work; so much so, that many of her clients were made to feel like family.

"Erin was always mentoring or teaching younger designers and former classmates. She would also help her colleagues at Stinger with their resumes and starting businesses. She volunteered her time with a National LGBT organization for at least 2 years, designing social media posts, fixing websites, and more." 



Family and Passions


Erin had a very strong sense of family.  She maintained close relationships with many of her family members and with friends who had become family, over the years. Erin had a smile that would light up any room and a sense of humor that could elicit a smile from anyone she encountered. She loved to play games, camp, grill, party, and just have fun. To know her was to love her. She was a fierce protectress of those whom she loved.  She was also a shoulder and an ear for anyone who needed it.  She was there for people so much so that many had been known to crash at Erin’s home for a place to stay in between jobs, on visits, and sometimes just to take a reset.  She also had many babies and children who lovingly called her their “aunt” and whom she loved without condition.


"Erin is survived by her beautiful smile, loving spirit, and giving heart; which will be carried on in the actions and memories of anyone who was blessed with the opportunity of being in her presence. She leaves behind her beloved dog Missy; her mother, Sharon L. Hill; her father, Michael L. Ward; her sisters, Kema (Nicholas) Ward-Hopper, and Amiyah Bedford; her brother, Michael Grayson, her grandmother, Rosie L. Ward; Aunt Ramona (Alvin) Johnson; Uncle Glenn (Shari) Sears; Godmother, Marilyn Johnson, niece Aaralyn; nephew Nicolai; girlfriend, and host of cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. She is preceded in death by her grandfather, Willie L. Ward, and her dog, Silas".

"For Erin"

When the unimaginable pain 

Hollows your soul,
When the empty tries to pull you 

Further into the darkness
Fight tooth and nail
To fill the vacant with
Snapshots of her smile
Speak her name into the void
Until her spirit wraps around you 

Conjure every single memory until 

Her face shows up in the wind 

Amplify her into energy
Wear her breath
Like perfume
Let it steer your next daydream 

Let her voice be a lullaby
A hype song
An anchor in a storm


When the sadness tries to swallow the sun 

When it comes to steal away your joy 

Look that thief in the face,
Let loose her laughter like a great tsunami 

Pull it underneath your crashing flood 

Show it who’s boss
She would have bravely did the same


From today until eternity:
Take every story she left behind,
Every conversation left reverberating your ears 

Brand it into the tapestry of your skin.
This is where the legacy of her love shall 

Forever comfort and guide you.


Guest Book

Please visit the Guest Book below and leave a Tribute to Erin Lynn Ward. We would love to hear your memories, see your pictures, and read your kind words.



Image by freestocks


"Erin was selfless and extremely caring and giving. During Hurricane Harvey, she got stuck in her building with many of her neighbors. On one of the nights, she woke up just after midnight and when she checked the rising water levels, she realized that her first-floor neighbors had flooded and the waters were rising quickly. She sprang into action and started banging on doors to wake people up. She recruited neighbors from the upper floors to get downstairs and help rescue food and supplies, assist families with small children, and coax elderly neighbors out of their apartments and up to the second and 3rd floors. She opened her apartment to those displaced families and had quite a few neighbors staying with her until the Coast Guard came a couple of days later. Erin had a giving and loving heart and was always ready and willing to help her fellow man."

Image by Lukas Blazek

Photo Gallery

The gallery below is a tribute to Erin Lynn Ward from her family and friends.