Grafton – Richard A. Ward, 89, while in the company of family, passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home on the afternoon of Dec. 29, 2019 following complications from cancer.
Richard is survived by his beloved wife of 29 years, Sharon D. Ward. Together, with Richard’s philosophy of “if not now, when,” they enjoyed life’s journey with its ups, downs, twists, turns and special times. They enjoyed visiting friends and family, traveling, hiking, motorcycle riding, bicycling, gardening and Myrtle Beach.
He was predeceased by his former wife, Jacqueline D. Ward, and his eldest and only son from his first marriage, Cornell W. (Pete) Ward Sr. Richard leaves three daughters from his first marriage, Cheryl Ward of Sanford, N.C., Flora “Kim” Ward of Chapel Hill, N.c., and Lynne Chesney and her husband Jovonnie of Sanford, N.C.; his daughter-in-law, Lita (Bonnie) Ward of Louisville, Ky.; his sister, Marjorie Wilson of Worcester; and brother, Daniel (Lee) Ward of Grafton. Additionally, Richard leaves his grandchildren, Elizabeth Ward, Cornell Ward Jr., Richard Ward, Michael Ward, Jackie D Ward, Angelina Harper, Tiffany Ward, Jacqueline Ward, and Brittany Chesney, and great/great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and extended family.
Richard was born and raised in Grafton. He was the son of the late Grace E. (Phelps) and Luther A. Ward. He was predeceased by two sisters, Barbara Brown and Beatrice M. Packer, and three brothers James Ward, Luther A. D. Ward Jr., and William H. Ward.
Richard will be remembered for his love of the Lord, his kind heart, and love of family. He will also be remembered for his willingness to freely give advice, his one liners (i.e., I didn’t get here on my own, it was the man upstairs who was looking out for me; it’s not what you make, it’s what you do with what you make; save a percentage of your money each week even if it’s one dollar, put it in a locked box and don’t touch it) his ability to build and fix almost anything, his excellent math skills, and his love for gadgets and fine tools.
Richard’s distinguished military service in the U.S. Army spanned 24 years where he served in the Korean Conflict and two tours in the Vietnam War. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. As a member of the 10th Special Forces, he proudly wore his uniform during active duty and proudly wore his Special Forces cap and jacket after retirement.
After military retirement, he worked as a Machinist at Jamesbury Corporation and at the Worcester Youth Guidance Center.
A wake will be held Friday, Jan. 11 at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester Street, North Grafton. Visitation hours are from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m., at Liberty Church, 495 Hartford Tpke. (Route 20), Shrewsbury. Richard will then be laid to rest with military honors at Riverside Cemetery in Grafton. A banquet to celebrate his life will be held at Liberty Church after internment.
A Book of Memories to share a favorite story or message of sympathy with his family is available online at www.RoneyFuneralHome.com.
A special thank you to the staff at Liberty Church, Roney Funeral Home, Doctor Prashantha D. Holla, MD and his staff, all of the CNAs who cared for Richard over the past years, Massachusetts Veteran’s Service District, Central MA Hospice, VNA of Southern Worcester County, Everest Home Healthcare staff and the many friends and family who provided support.