John R. Ward ’83

John R. Ward ’83 died on March 29, 2022, in San Francisco, California

(The following was provided by the San Francisco Chronicle on April 1, 2022)

John Russell Ward (known as Jack to his family) passed away on March 29, 2022, after a four-month illness. A native of Schenectady, NY, he was born in 1961, the son of John H. Ward and Aline M. (Weymouth) Ward. He is survived by his brothers Robert N. Ward (Genevieve Cottraux) of Oakland, CA, and Richard C. Ward (Adelle), of Schenectady, NY. He is also survived by Joseph R. Ward (Isabella), their son Clark, of San Jose, CA; John N. Ward, of Schenectady; Robert H. Ward (Kim Howansky), their son Levi, of Schenectady; Maylot Ward (Matthew Sterlina) of Schenectady; Cynthia Ward, of Schenectady and her daughter Harmony Spieser, of Wilmington, NC. He is also survived by his close friends Woodrow Evans and Anthony Meyer who helped care for him during his illness, and to whom the family is deeply grateful.

A graduate of Niskayuna High School in Schenectady, and of Bowdoin College, he moved to San Francisco in 1985 and worked for The Information Store, and for UMI. For the last 23 years he was head of customer service for the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco.

A life-long lover of dogs, John wanted to raise Bernese Mountain dogs and other large breeds in retirement, but was not able to fulfill his dream due to his illness. Contributions in his name may be sent to The Morris Animal Foundation, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80246. A gathering in his memory will be scheduled at a future time.

2 Comments John R. Ward ’83

  1. Todd Larson '84

    I remember Jack Ward as friendly, kind and helpful to many people. I’ll never forget his farewell speech to his fraternity, in which he spoke of how he learned how friendly, intelligent and kind people could be in different people he came to know at Bowdoin (he was all of those things himself), and how grades didn’t mean anything without good friends. And he certainly worked hard to make the most of his friendships. I remember when he helped a student with a course he himself had taken by giving her a topic for the final paper and telling her what to write, and as a result she got an H+ (B+ in Bowdoin’s current grading system) on the assignment. I also fondly remember Jack’s unique sense of humor, making jokes about his struggles, and he made me laugh a lot. He was also refreshingly honest about whatever was on his mind. His lifelong love of dogs certainly came out in his kindness to others. Thank you, Jack, for touching so many people. Rest in peace.

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