SALUDA -- Ursula Veil Ward-Common passed away on May 23, 2019 in Pforzheim, Germany at the age of 84.
A long-time resident of Saluda, Ursi was born in Crailsheim Germany, on August 5, 1934, the middle child of Ulrich and Adelaide Veil’s nine children. After graduating from Red Cross Nursing School in Stuttgart, she came to America in 1957 to work as a nurse with Dr. Bosien in Tryon, NC. There, in 1962, she met Jack Ward when he came in for stitches because he had cut his hand in his family’s meat market at Thompson’s Store in Saluda. Three months later, they were married.
Ursi became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen and devoted her life to her husband, their two children, and the residents and staff at Autumn Care Nursing Center, where she spent several decades as Director of Nursing. Ursi was never the loudest voice in the room, but her presence was formidable.
Though not an official home health nurse, she was the go-to in Saluda for medical emergencies before the era of dialing 911. Whenever people fell ill or had injuries, Ursi was often the first to be called, regardless of the time of day. She was also a fixture alongside Jack, opening Ward’s Grill in the mornings. Her mother-in-law, Lola, thought of Ursi as a daughter, and they shared a deep bond.
Jack and Ursi attended Saluda First Baptist Church. She had a quiet faith, seeded when as a child of WWII, she experienced the profound presence of God while taking refuge with her younger siblings in a potato cellar during an air raid. That tangible faith encounter was the basis of how she calmly approached life, and how unwaveringly she cared for Jack through his long battle with kidney disease. They had been married 31 years when he passed away in 1994.
After Ursi’s retirement, she was reacquainted with Manfred Common, the brother of her life-long best friend from nursing school, Lore Common Hill. They wed in 2005 and divided their time between his home in Germany and hers in Saluda. She was blessed to be the Oma of six grandchildren and had siblings on both sides of the ocean, as her brother Hartmut Veil and sister Sigi Hendrickson reside in Saluda.
Ursi enjoyed traveling extensively with Manfred, until her heart condition worsened, and they settled permanently in his hometown of Maulbronn. Manfred, his daughter Sabine, and daughter-in-law Gabrielle devotedly cared for Ursi through the trials of her diminishing health.
She had an unflappable spirit, and never complained. She was a nurse through and through, so much so that even in the ICU during her last week of life, a German nurse attending her remarked that she considered Ursi as more of a colleague than a patient. Her church service is set for June 4th in Germany.
Because her commitment to the Saluda community touched so many lives, Ursi’s children Roger Ward and Sarah “Missy” Hart, along with their families, invite friends to join them for her Celebration of Life Dessert Drop-in on Sunday, June 23, from 3:00-5:00 pm at her house- 540 Greenville Street, Saluda.
Donations in memory of Ursula Ward-Common may be made to “The Sullivan’s Temple Restoration” c/o Saluda Community Land Trust PO Box 732 Saluda, NC 28773. Gifts to this tax-deductible fund will help restore the historic African-American church located in Saluda.
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