In Loving Memory

George Maxwell “Mike” Ward 

March 18, 1951 - March 16, 2019


It is with great sadness that the family of George Maxwell Ward announces his passing after a lengthy illness, on March 16, 2019, at the age of 67.  Mr. Ward is survived by his daughters, Rachel (Samuel) Bailey, and Bethany (Matthew) Ford; their mother, Reva Nash Ward; grandchildren, Samantha Bailey, Maxwell Ford, Connor Bailey, Gabrielle Ford and Devyn Bailey; his mother, Cynthia Fertig Ward; brothers, Hunt (Julia) Ward and Patrick Ward; nephews and nieces, Sean Ward, Nicole Ward, and William Ward; and many lifelong friends from his career in the photography industry.  Mike seldom met a stranger; everyone was his friend.

He was predeceased by his father, C. Max Ward; his brother, Donald Ward; and an infant sister.

Mike graduated from Walter Williams High School in Burlington, NC in 1969 where he served as captain of the varsity football team, earning the nickname, “Cap’n Ward.” He attended Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, NC and enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1970. He graduated Airborne School and served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Republic of Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medals.  He was honorably discharged from 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, KY in 1972.

Mike pursued his love of photography, and worked as a photographer/salesman, territory manager and regional sales manager for Max Ward-Delmar Studios in Norfolk, VA. He founded Portraits International Corporation in Mobile, AL in 1980, and was elected President of Professional School Photographers of America in 1989. He went on to become the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Lifetouch Portrait Industries Corporation in Mobile, AL in 1991.  Mike was a member of the Mystic Stripers, the Crewe of Columbus, and the Knights of Ecor Rouge Mardi Gras Societies. He was an avid golfer, who loved to travel, and was a dedicated fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He also enjoyed grilling and entertaining friends and family while watching Alabama football. He was the Crimson Tide’s biggest fan. Mike was a force of nature, and will be remembered for his entrepreneurial mind, his charisma, and his generous spirit.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Jubilee Baptist Church, 9264 Pleasant Road, Daphne, AL.  Graveside services will be Friday, March 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Alabama State Veterans Cemetery in Spanish Fort, AL.  A celebration of George Maxwell Ward’s life will be held from Jubilee Baptist Church on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service time.

Memorial donations can be made to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, an organization that was dear to Mike’s heart, at

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at  Arrangements by Hughes Funeral Home, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL 36526


  1. Pat Long Morgan

    So sorry to hear that Mike has passed although I know his health had been bad for the last several years. “Capt. Ward” and I have been friends for over years. We met in high school and he became my first “true” love. Mike was always so full of life. There was never a dull minute if Mike was your friend. Going to Vietnam was very rough on Mike but I was so proud of the contribution he made to this country. I have so many good memories about Mike. Over the last few years we have talked on a regular basis. I was able to tell him how much his friendship had meant to me all these years. I know Mike is at peace today! I will continue to pray for his family as they go through this difficult time.

  2. Web

    Our deepest sympathy to Mike’s family. I knew him from an early age. He was a good guy and always a lot of fun.
    Web & Cindi McAdams

  3. Kristy Pardue

    Hunt and Julia,

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, so sorry for your loss.

  4. Helen Charpentier

    Our deepest sympathies. My husband and I met Mike when we first worked for Portrait industries and we held him in high esteem. He was a good man and will be missed.
    Frank and Helen Charpentier


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