Obituary of Nicolle Ward

August 2, 2021

Nicolle Alexandra Ward passed away on August 2, after a long struggle with mental illness. She was 55 and died by suicide.

Nicolle was born in Glen Cove, NY and moved with her family to Manhattan when she was four. Nicolle became an inveterate New Yorker, strolling and photographing the Upper West Side and the flora and fauna of her beloved Central Park. She graduated from the Brearley School and from Vassar College, where she was the number 2 ranked player on the women's squash team.

Nicolle spent her junior year of college in Africa, studying Kenyan politics and culture at the School for International Training, and forming lifelong friendships in both Kenya andneighboring Tanzania.

Nicolle had a deep concern for social justice, which she sought to instill in her students as an elementary school teacher. She then worked in broadcast journalism in NYC and Los Angelesand for the BBC, as well. Most recently, Nicolle worked for the US Census Bureau, where she was determined to insure that every New Yorker was counted. On her LinkedIn page, she stated her goal as "finding a voice for the voiceless." A Brearley classmate, who rode the crosstown bus to school with Nicolle everyday, said, "Nicolle was like a California beach day on the gray city asphalt. I remember she always looked out for underprivileged children and people who struggled to find safe shelter."

Nicolle was a great beauty and though she never pursued a career in modeling, during her high school years, she appeared on several magazine and book covers, including the cover of Seventeen Magazine.

Noting the toll her illness had taken on her later on, a Brearley friend recalled, "She was such a close friend in middle school, so damn funny, so strong and tough and vital. The last time I saw her was at one of our reunions. I felt her sweetness and kindness and desire to connect to the kids in the room where we were. I also felt her fatigue at the effort, and ultimately her distance."

A close friend from Vassar said, Nicolle "was a brilliant, bright light, and she had the most gorgeous smile. She was candid and funny, and she was also very, very deep."

She is survived by loving family members: mother, Barbara; brother, Courtney; her sister-in-law, Jane; and her nephews, Alec and Ian. She was pre-deceased by her father, Lee.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Nicolle's memory to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Los Angeles Westside:

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God bless you Nicolle - may you rest in peace with clarity.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to know you for a brief time.
My sympathy to Barbara and the rest of her family.


Posted by: Robert Miller - Fullerton, CA - December 2, 2021

My dear dear friend. I did not know that you died. I went to New York in August. Pearl and I were looking forward to seeing you.

Now I know why you have not responded to my multiple messages. I know you were in pain. This is just too hard for me to take. So many of my close friends are gone now.

I have a video of you and James talking about your different paths. You are both dead. Are you talking again in the afterworld? In fact it's several videos. I will watch them again when I feel strong enough. I wanted to share them with you but it's now too late. Good bye my sweet friend. Tell the ancestors you are one of the best of us.

Love you always Nicolle,

Your friend Marcia Green

Posted by: Marcia Green - Los Angeles, CA - December 16, 2021