Cover photo for Marcia Ward Garatt's Obituary
Marcia Ward Garatt Profile Photo
1936 Marcia 2023

Marcia Ward Garatt

August 9, 1936 — June 17, 2023


Marcia Ward Garatt, 86, died on June 17, 2023. Born in Candor, in upstate New York, to parents Charles P. Ward and Emily A. Marsh Ward, Marcia attended Keuka College in New York, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree. Marcia studied at St. Andrews University, St. Andrews, Scotland, during her junior year. Marcia later attended the University of South Carolina, earning her Masters in Social Work. Marcia was employed as a social worker and probation officer in New York, and then in North Carolina as the Administrator of a regional program for neurologically impaired children and teens who had exhibited violent or assaultive behavior. This program, known as the Willie M. Program, became the foundation for the design of children’s mental health delivery systems across the country for similar populations of children.

Marcia was a founding member of NAMI NC (the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Carolina). She and her husband Paul taught twenty 12-week family education courses in North Carolina and in Kentucky. The classes were designed to educate families about mental disorders and how to support a relative with a severe mental illness.

Inspired and educated by her own experience with family mental illness, Marcia advocated and supported hundreds of people and their families who were coping with mental illness. She also helped to educate doctors and other health professionals from the perspective of mentally ill individuals and their families. She and her husband Paul appeared on the CBS show 60 Minutes, speaking about families and schizophrenia. Marcia and Paul were also featured for their work and life experience with mental illness in the NARSAD Brain and Behavior Research Fund Quarterly in the Winter 2011 issue.

Marcia was a trailblazer in the field of mental illness, determined to replace stigma and blame, with accurate knowledge, empathy, and coping strategies. Marcia never gave up on people and continued to offer support to individuals and families well into her 80’s.

She was predeceased by her spouse of 61 years, Paul Robert Garatt, and by her son, Sean Paul Garatt, and by her siblings, Emily Butterfield, C. Keene Ward, and Donald Ward. She is survived by her son, Geordie Garatt and wife Julia, of Paducah; three grandchildren and a grandnephew, Ian Garatt of Austin, Texas, Seth Wyatt and Kennedy Garatt of Paducah, and Mark Taylor of Paducah; a brother, Peter Ward and wife Gloria, and a sister, Bayonne Gowan, all of Candor, NY; and several nieces and nephews.

At Marcia’s request, a Celebration of Life will be held at The 1857 Hotel at 210 Kentucky Avenue, Paducah, KY on Sunday, June 25, 2023, from 1:00 to 3:00.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to NAMI Kentucky, 201 Mechanic Street, Lexington KY 40507.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marcia Ward Garatt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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