Eugene Nicholas “Gene” Ward

August 03, 1927 ‒ April 13, 2008

Scottsdale, AZ & Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Eugene Nicholas “Gene” Ward, 80, of McElroy Road, Mansfield, died Sunday morning April 13, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona, following a short illness.

Gone to eternal rest is the most wonderful man in the world! Gene passed peacefully in Hospice of Arizona after an eight-month battle with cancer.

He was born August 3, 1927 in Shadyside, Ohio, to Edward and Beulah (Walters) Ward, and twice served in the U.S. military. During WWII, he served with the U.S. Navy aboard the USS PC 822 (later named the Asheboro) performing convoy escorts and antisubmarine exercises. He was honorably discharged as Seaman 2nd Class.

He was graduated from welding school in Cleveland and worked several years before being drafted to serve again, this time six years with the U.S. Army, much of that time in Germany.

On one of his furloughs from the Army, he married Ida Bonnie (Campbell) Ward on December 26, 1953 in Indiana.

The following year, Gene built his own home on McElroy Road that became the family homestead. He became a pillar of the neighborhood ~ the go-to guy who would help out with anything ~ a real jack-of-all trades.

Gene operated a repair service from his home, fixing small engines and lawn mowers, and is described as an “artist at heart.”

He completed 50 years of continuous membership and service with The United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, and was therefore granted life membership in the union. He also worked as a welder and machinery setter with Millwright-Pile Driver Union Local # 1871, of Medina, Ohio.

Blessed with a wonderful sense of humor, he was a life member of VFW Post #9943, Sons of Herman, and was a true NASCAR fan.

His extra ordinary dedication to being a husband, father and friend defined his life.

He is survived by daughters Judy Ward Murphy of Scottsdale, AZ, a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines, who provided loving care to her father through his many health care challenges and dedicated time and energy to his care, Donna Heilig of Scottsdale, AZ, and Linda Shambre of Tempe, AZ, whom he raised since the age of three; grandchildren Zachary Murphy, Cody Murphy, Nicholas Heilig, Michelle Heilig, Jeff Shambre and Jody Shambre; four great grandchildren; a sister-in-law Norma Ward of Barnesville; a sister Esther Green Wood of Columbus, Ohio; cherished nephews whom he mentored Danny Campbell and his wife Kay, who was like a daughter to him of Plymouth and their daughters Angela and Amanda; a very special nephew Glendon Campbell of Rowdy, KY; dear friends Steve Jaynes , Tom Hunt, John Smith, John Clow and Junior Chumbley all of Mansfield, Victor & Michelle Campbell and their sons Ben & Josh, Pat & Roxie Doan, and Dale & Jan Lindstrom all of Arizona; a fine young man whom he mentored and treasured as a grandson Shawn DeWalt of Mansfield; and a close friend Kenny Workman in Arizona whom he spent quality time with, and very much adored.

He was preceded in death by his wife Ida Bonnie Ward on August 5, 2006. Also deceased are a brother Walter Ward and sisters Lyda Ball and Irene Ward.

With grateful appreciation, Gene’s family extends their warmest gratitude to Dr. Snehal Thakkar, Dr. Diane Recine, Dr. Andrew Kassir, Dr. Barlow, and the wonderful and caring nurses and staff who lovingly and skillfully attended to Gene the past eight months.

The family will receive friends Friday, April 18, 2008 from 5-8 p.m. in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, where the funeral service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. Pastor Mike Wilson will officiate. Burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park, where the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail will hold graveside military honors.

Following the committal service, a celebration of Gene’s life will be held at the Son’s of Herman Hall.

Memorial contributions to Hospice of Arizona, 7100 East Mescal Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, or to the National Colorectal Research Alliance 1201 West Fifth Street T700, Los Angeles, CA 90017 may be made at the funeral home.

Condolences may be made to the Ward Family online by visiting: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com