Roy E. Ward (1926-2021) died peacefully at his home on Saturday February 13, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was 94. Roy’s was an American story. Born in 1926, he grew up in Depression era Kentucky, the son of the late James Morton and Margaret Callahan Ward. Roy enlisted at age 17 in the United States Navy following early graduation from Ashland High School and served honorably in the Pacific theatre during World War II. Returning to Kentucky after the War, Roy met and married the Virginia girl with whom he corresponded while overseas, the late Mary (Aker) Ward originally of Wytheville, Virginia. They were married 71 years and Mary was the love of his life. Their union produced 5 children, Peggy Corn, Barbara (Michael) Tackett, Susan Coy, Mary Jane Hurst, and David (Elizabeth) Ward, 10 grandchildren, and 13 (soon to be 14) great grandchildren. Roy was preceded in death by his brothers, James and William Ward, and his sons-in-law, Ron Corn and Pat Hurst. After repeated layoffs at the then-C&O Railroad where he had started work at age 13, Roy tested for and obtained employment with the Federal Corrections System. He began employment as a Guard, but his carpentry skills led him to run the carpentry shop at FCI-Summit where he was also elected by his peers to serve as the Local labor union President. Each day after their regular jobs, he and his crew of close friends worked tirelessly at construction and renovation jobs throughout the Tri-State on evenings and weekends. Roy and his family loved boating and skiing with his best friend, Jim Smith, and family at Grayson Lake every Sunday during the summers, as well as the occasional camping trip throughout Kentucky. A voracious reader, Roy was as comfortable discussing the relative merits of works of classic literature as he was roofing a house. He taught his children honesty, hard work, and self-reliance while always providing for and loving them. During Roy’s later years he rode his motorcycle from Harvard Square to the California Coast, journaling his travels and visiting friends and family. He was a devoted member of Unity Baptist Church. His beloved Mary passed away in March of last year and it is the most sincere wish of his children that they are now together forever. A private funeral service will be held Wednesday, February 17, 2021 and once this pandemic is under control months from now a memorial and celebration will be announced. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the American Heart Association.
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