Richard Lee "Dick"'s Story

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"If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."
--Khalil Gibran

Richard Lee "Dick" Ward

A faithful husband, father and follower of Jesus, Dick Ward passed away at home on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at age 83.
Dick was born on October 13, 1933, in Oklahoma City. His parents, Vernon E. Smith and Berniece Bernaline Gearhardt Ward—a Baptist preacher and a homemaker, respectively—raised their family in Blackwell, OK, including Dick, his brother Harry Ward (now deceased) and their sister Jean Ann Ward Fulmer (and husband Carl, of Frisco, TX). Although Dick was born during the Great Depression, the Ward family clung tightly to each other, and as time went on, they managed to live well. Eventually, Dick was also able to pursue higher education through a local junior college before spending four years in the United States Navy. In addition to serving in the Korean War, Dick was able to see the world as a young seaman and was especially impressed with Cuba and various ports around the Mediterranean—Florence, Italy was a particular favorite of his. Later, Dick would become a pilot and flight instructor.
He loved to sing gospel songs and sang at many funerals and churches. In his fifties, Dick met Vida May Journot (Ward) when he sang in a church which Vida attended. Later, Dick's boss introduced them—it was love at first sight, and they married in Fort Worth. But after they struggled to build a blended family, the strain on their relationship intensified, and Vida agreed to let Dick go. However, their mutual love was too strong to separate them for long, so Dick and Vida remarried in Alvarado, TX, on Valentine's Day of 1984. Indeed, Dick was known for his compassionate, forgiving and loving nature, and he felt blessed to be able to consistently serve the members of his family and extended family. For Dick, these expressions of love stemmed from his steadfast faith in Jesus Christ and his Baptist upbringing. Always, Dick was as a "good, Christian man," and a member of First Baptist Church in Bryan.
Dick was also a gifted, mostly self-taught artist, working with multimedia and focusing on Southwestern and Indian subjects which highlighted dramatic historical settings. He was employed as an artist and exhibit technician for the Oklahoma Historical Society in the 1970s and crafted murals, portraits, illustrations and sculpted figures—which he designed and built—for various museums around the state. His most outstanding work included a portrait of Jesse Chisholm (of the historic Chisolm Trail) and a sculpture of astronaut Owen K. Garriott (in his spacesuit). Even in later years, Dick produced not only framed art but paintings on buffalo and longhorn skulls and other art pieces. His work was featured in the Three Hawks Gallery of the historic Fort Worth stockyards area.
At home with his beloved family, Dick was easy to please and even-tempered. He loved simple things like steak from Texas Roadhouse and big bowls of vanilla ice cream, topped with loads of chocolate syrup and pecans. He also enjoyed visiting Colorado with his family whenever he could. But above all, Dick thoroughly adored his wife who lovingly ministered to him at their home until his death. He also enjoyed being a grandfather and a great-grandfather; he wasn't afraid to demonstrate his love for friends and family through his warmth and affection. All told, as he faithfully endeavored to become a better Christian, Dick summarily became a great man.
Remembering Dick now with fond memories are his sweetheart Vida and their combined children: John, Steve, Christopher, Denise, Diana, Stanley, and Alanna. Dick's sister and brother-in-law, Jean & Carl Fulmer, also survive him. Dick was predeceased by his parents, his brother Harry, his sons, Mark and Eugene, and his daughter Sharon Roseanne.
Come join with us in celebrating the life of Dick Ward, beginning with Visitation on Friday, October 28th from 6-8pm at Hillier Funeral Home in Bryan. Funeral services will then be held on Saturday, October 29th at 2pm (with Viewing beginning at 12:30) in the same location. Interment will be at Glenview Cemetery in Alvarado, TX.
Share your memories of Dick at www.hillierfuneralhome.com.
Published on October 28, 2016
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