William Lou Ward, 84, of Spring, Texas passed on into the hands of his savior Monday, April 7, 2014. Lou was born July 18, 1929 in Franklin, Missouri to Lou L Ward and Erma Gray Ward. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but no one will miss him more than Bernice Ward, his wife, his love, his life for the past 59 years.
Lou spent his early years in Franklin and Booneville Missouri and then Cicero and Chicago Illinois. He joined the Navy at 17 and a few years later joined the Air Force from which he retired in 1968. In the Navy he experienced the frozen isolation of the Aleutian Islands to the warmth and beauty of the South Pacific. In the Air Force he was stationed early on at Ellington in Houston, where he met Bernice Geesing at a dance on base, fell in love and married her in 1955. Virginia, Bill, Ronald (who died as an infant) and David joined their union while Lou was stationed in Houston. He was then stationed in Topeka, Kansas, where their youngest, Robert, was born. The whole family moved again in 1963 to Whitman Air Force Base in Sedalia, Missouri, where Lou joined the newly formed 351st Missile Wing. The 351st managed and maintained one of the most significant deterrents to armed conflict during the cold war, the Minuteman ICBMs. When Lou retired in 1968 he took his missile experience to Houston and joined NASA to be part of the Apollo missions, including the Apollo 11 moon landing. As is the story of all good family men he left NASA to build a career that would provide more for his family and joined the Western and Southern Life Insurance Company where he realized he enjoyed the job and was quickly successful. He took that talent to Knights of Columbus Insurance where he became a General Agent managing an area out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana that included over 40% of the Councils in the state of Louisiana. He retired from Knights of Columbus Insurance in 1994, moved to Trinity, Texas to play golf, travel with Bernice, and host his grandsons over as many weekends and summers as possible before his health began to fail.
Lou was a devout Catholic, who joined the Catholic Church when he married Bernice. He was a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus and he provided thousands of hours in service to others. He loved dancing, hosting parties, camping with the family, traveling with his wife and grandsons, and he loved movies. His grandsons had only one requirement whenever they came to see him no matter how young they were; they had to go out to a movie with him.
Lou was preceded in death by his infant son, Ronald, his brother, Howard Lee Ward, and his parents. He is survived by his wife Bernice, his children, Virginia (husband Gary Palmer), Bill (wife Nadine Ritter), David (wife Shuko Ward), and Robert (wife Melinda Ward). His legacy is the example he set for devotion to one's spouse and family. His legacy will continue through his Grandsons, Nathaniel Lee Palmer (wife Krystle Palmer), William Random Ritter Ward (fiancé Elizabeth Weiner), Thomas Joseph Ward (wife Jessica Spaulding), Ryan Christopher Ward, Matthew Paul Palmer, and James Geraden Ritter Ward.
As husband, father, grandfather, and friend William Lou Ward will be greatly missed.