Oscar Donald “Don” Ward, 83, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, at his residence in Dalton. He was surrounded by his family in his last few hours.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Gus and Inez Ward, and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edgbert and Evelyn Ray.
Don was a devoted family man who was most content and happy when surrounded by children, grandchildren and other relatives. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and holding court around the dinner table at large family meals.
Don Ward was born Dec. 13, 1929, in Catoosa County and was a 1946 graduate of Dalton High School. In 1948 he joined the United States Navy where he served on the USS Norton Sound. Upon discharge from the Navy he returned to Dalton and in 1959 joined the Georgia State Patrol where he served as both radio operator and trooper. In 1965 he became a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and remained there until his retirement in 1984. After retirement he served as a bailiff both at the U.S. federal court in Chattanooga and the Whitfield County court in Dalton. Don was a member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church and the Fellowship Sunday school class for more than 50 years. He was a Mason for more than 50 years as a member of the Pleasant Grove Lodge. Don and JoAnn were avid campers, belonging to the NOWEGA Good Sam Club for more than 25 years and traveling throughout the United States and Canada.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, JoAnn (Ray) Ward of Dalton. They would have celebrated 60 years of marriage on Sept. 4, 2014. He is also survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Micah and Catherine Ward of Colorado Springs, Colo., Clay Ward of Dalton, and Scott and Becky Ward of Dalton; grandchildren, Elizabeth Peck, Cameron Ward, Nathan Ward, Michael Ward, Rachel Ward, Amy Goenner and Abby Hamm; great-grandsons, Benjamin Peck and Grant Goenner; sister and brother-in-law, Mary Helen and Bill Speights of Dalton; brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Miriam Ward of Eton; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be at the Pleasant Grove Chapel of Julian Peeples Funeral Home on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
The memorial service will immediately follow at Pleasant Grove Methodist Church with Minister Chris Mullis officiating.
At his request, Don will be cremated and burial will be conducted during a private family service at United Memorial Gardens.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Heartlite Hospice Care or the Alzheimer’s Association.
The family wished to express heartfelt gratitude to the personnel at Heartlite Hospice for their compassion and professionalism in helping our family during this time and also to the church family of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church for prayers, visits and support. A special thank you is also extended to the staff of RossWoods Adult Day Services for their support and assistance.
You may leave the family a message on the tribute wall, upload photos or light a memorial candle at www.julianpeeples.com.
Funeral arrangements are by Julian Peeples Funeral Home, Pleasant Grove Chapel, Dalton. For more information, call (706) 259-7455.