Ward Wendell Wyrick

January 18, 1950 ~ July 2, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old


Ward Wendell Wyrick, aged 73, spent his childhood in Teays Valley, WV, attending schools in the Hurricane area, and being raised by his Grandmother Carrie Wyrick. Ward spent his entire adult life in St. Albans, WV. Ward passed away on Sunday, July 2nd, 2023, at HospiceCare CAMC Memorial, after his battle with cancer.

He was a retired custodian of 37 years at First Baptist Church of St. Albans. Ward was a patriotic man. On November 4, 1979, 52 American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage by a group of militarized Iranian college students who seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. On that day, Ward, as the custodian, took it upon himself to honor these 52 hostages. From the 4th of November and every day after for the next 444 days, he rang the church bell 52 times, one ring for each captive. On January 20, 1981, 444 days after their capture, the hostages were released. In honor of their return home to the U.S., he rang the bell 444 times, one ring for every day they were held captive, symbolizing their return.

Ward is preceded in death by his wife, Kay F. Wyrick; his father, Rex E. Wyrick; his mother, Freda Jane Davis Wyrick; his brother, Ennis S. Wyrick; his sister-in-law, Freda Mae Wyrick; his son, Timothy W. Searls Sr.; his granddaughter, Leighann Searls; and his grandson, Timothy W. Searls Jr.

He is survived by his daughter, Tammy (Matt) Dixon of Cross Lanes; his sons, David Hodges of St. Albans and James (Cricket) Hodges of Hurricane; his daughter-in-law, Polly Searls of Hurricane; his brother, Robert Wyrick of Teays Valley; his sister, Nina (Cliff) Miller of Oklahoma; his grandchildren, Kevin Dixon, Anthony Dixon, Thomas Hodges, Jonathan Hodges, Tiffany Hodges, Jessica Hodges, Lori Hodges, Virginia Hopkins, and Katherine Searls; his great-grandchildren, Austin Dixon, Faith Williams, Gabriel Hodges, Kelsey Jaczola, Colton Hopkins, Gage Hopkins, Alexander Dailey, Skyler Dailey, and Corey Hodges; his nieces, Kate Miller, Wendy Wyrick, and Maryann Wyrick; his great-nieces, Samantha Cottrell and Olivia Cottrell; his great-nephew, T.R. Coonrod; and a host of cousins and friends.

A private graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Teays Valley, with the Rev. Joel M. Harpold officiating. Family may call from 10:30-11 A.M. on Saturday at the graveside.

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