Ralph Ward Obituary
 
In Memory of

Ralph Bruce Ward

July 18, 1921 - June 5, 2014
Obituary

R. Bruce Ward, 92, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2014. A celebration of his life will be held June 23rd at 10:30AM at Williamsburg Landing where he had resided since 2006. Bruce was born in Connecticut and lived in New England most of his life before choosing to move to Williamsburg. He was predeceased by his first wife, Patricia and by a daughter, Heather Poges. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Nancy (Leach) Ward, daughters, Carol Ward Spracklin and Linda M. Douglas, a son, David Ward and a brother, Earl Ward; grandchildren, Trevor Spracklin, Beth Phipps, Ryan Poges, Bradley Poges and Kent Poges; and great-grandchildren...
R. Bruce Ward, 92, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2014. A celebration of his life will be held June 23rd at 10:30AM at Williamsburg Landing where he had resided since 2006. Bruce was born in Connecticut and lived in New England most of his life before choosing to move to Williamsburg.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Patricia and by a daughter, Heather Poges. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Nancy (Leach) Ward, daughters, Carol Ward Spracklin and Linda M. Douglas, a son, David Ward and a brother, Earl Ward; grandchildren, Trevor Spracklin, Beth Phipps, Ryan Poges, Bradley Poges and Kent Poges; and great-grandchildren KC and James Phipps, Leah Poges , and Colin Spracklin, who will all miss their "PopPop."
Bruce attended Springfield College in Massachusetts on the GI Bill after his service as an army medic. He graduated in four years with two degrees and two children. He then began his career in the YMCA, first in West Roxbury, MA then in Meriden CT. After 18 years at the YMCA, he joined the fundraising firm of Ward, Dreshman and Reinhardt. There he used his YMCA management skills, his public speaking ability and his persuasive personality to direct successful campaigns from Florida to Alaska, Martha's Vineyard to Hawaii. Most of the campaigns were for YMCAs or other non-profit interests. On his 50th reunion of his alma mater, he used his fundraising skills to raise one million dollars for Springfield College.
Summer weeks were enjoyed at Long Lake in Naples, Maine where Bruce built a cabin on the lake. He was very handy and always had projects in the works building stone walls, planting gardens or fixing whatever needed fixing. Sports were important to him and he enjoyed skiing, ice skating, biking, tennis, water skiing, canoeing, and swimming well into his 70's.
After his first wife died in 1989, Bruce embarked on a solo sentimental bicycle ride from Seattle WA to Meriden, CT. He biked through national parks where he and his first wife visited after they retired and even stopped at Patricia's alma mater DePaw University in Greencastle, IN. He followed this adventure with hiking up to 18,400 feet in Nepal, and paddling his canoe 140 miles up the Maine coast. He made slide show presentations of these trips and was able to relive his adventures many times as he entertained enthusiastic audiences.
He married his present wife Nancy in 1995 and they enjoyed their retirement in CT and FL before choosing to move to Williamsburg Landing. There Bruce enjoyed working on the "Green Committee", playing bridge and participating in social and educational activities in Williamsburg. Nancy and Bruce traveled extensively, sharing their enthusiasm for adventure and learning. Their favorite destination was Egypt. Bruce continued riding his bicycle until just a few years ago, riding along the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown where he was an interpreter at Historic Jamestowne. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff at Woodhaven at Williamsburg Landing for their professional and compassionate care these past few months.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Springfield College, 263 Alden St, Springfield, MA 01109 or to the charity of one's choice.

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