Alfred J. Ward Jr.
May 30, 1930 ‒ January 21, 2019
Alfred J. Ward Jr. went to be with the Lord Monday evening, January 21, 2019 in Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 88.
He was born May 30, 1930 in Dayton, Ohio to parents Alfred & Margaret (Bauman) Ward. After he graduated from Sidney High School with the class of 1949, he was recruited to play football at Miami University (Ohio) by Woody Hayes. He played on the team that won the 1951 Salad Bowl beating Arizona State. He was then drafted into the Korean Conflict where he proudly served his country in the US Army, honorably discharged in 1953. After being discharged Al returned to Miami to graduate in 1954. He went on to graduate from Bowling Green State University in 1962 with a Masters Degree in Education.
Al taught Health and Physical Ed for 30 years, two of which were in Sidney and the remaining years in Mansfield City Schools. Not only did Al teach but he was actively involved in high school athletics. He initially came to Mansfield in 1958 to coach football, later becoming their track and cross country coach. Al then became the first head football coach at Malabar High School. He was also heavily involved in officiating wrestling, cross country, and track and field. He became director of the Mehock Relays for 10 years, and later the commissioner of the Ohio Heartland Conference.
For Al’s years of coaching and officiating he was inducted into the Ohio High School Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Ohio High School Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame, and the Mansfield Senior High Hall of Fame. He also had the opportunity to mentor many track officials throughout the years.
An avid wood carver and refinisher, Al enjoyed working with wood and creating keepsakes. He and his wife are members of The Johnny Appleseed Wood Carvers. He was also an outdoorsman and loved to fish. Above all, he truly cherished his time with his family and grandchildren and will be missed by all who loved him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Shirley Ward; children Mark (Deb) Ward, Mike (Jody) Ward, and Beth (Tim) Kruger; grandchildren Kyle (Karling) Ward, Emily (Ben) Gorenflo, Michaela Ward, Addison Ward, and Joe (Julie) Kruger; and great grandchildren Braden Ward, Owen Ward, and Will Kruger.
In addition to his parents, Al was preceded in death by siblings Patricia Ward, Bernard Ward, and Don Ward.
His family will receive friends 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Resurrection Parish, 2600 Lexington Ave. with a Mass of Christian Burial immediately following at 1 p.m. Father Nick Weibl will officiate and military honors will take place at the church. A private burial will be held on Monday in Oak Grove Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Make A Wish Foundation or the ALS Association at the calling hours.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Al’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com
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