|By James Coker (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 08:04 pm: Edit|
To The Ward Family:
A Life Well Lived!Paul Called Us TO "Be Imitators of God,... As Dearly Loved Children and Live a Life of Love,"(Ephesians 5:1,2) our prayers are with you.
|By Louise "Mickey" Head (Cidaa1) on Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 08:29 am: Edit|
April 8, 1933 - February 26, 2020
Dad, Daddy, Santa Claus, Grandpa, Babop, Uncle, Onkel, Friend, and Brother, but he never stopped responding when called “Sergeant.”
The youngest of 11 children, Curtis grew up on the family cattle ranch in Corbett, Okla., attending Valley Grove School and Lexington High School. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University at Shawnee, Okla., from 1952-53 but, anticipating being drafted, withdrew from school to enlist and make a career in the US Army.
Curtis spent most of the next 30 years overseas, serving as a military policeman and detective in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere as well in US postings to Virginia and Maryland. Although he earned many medals for exemplary service, including the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with V Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, one of his proudest achievements was being the first of the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Command’s Special Agents to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major. And, while a stern look could stop cold anyone on his naughty list, he nonetheless delighted in memories of playing Sgt. Maj. Santa Claus to the families of the soldiers in his sphere of responsibility.
It was during his years in the military that Curtis became a Master Mason, an affiliation that was meaningful to him to the end of his life. Active in the Square & Compass Club while serving in Vietnam, he served as Master of Hiram Lodge #819 in Ludwigsburg, Germany, from 1968-69 and held positions with the American Canadian Grand Lodge as well membership in Peace Chapter #2, Order of the Eastern Star, Stuttgart, Germany.
Following his retirement from the Army, Curtis enrolled in Texas State Technical Institute at Amarillo, Texas, where he earned an associate degree in saddle, tack, and boot-making in 1986. After returning to Oklahoma, he worked for years at National Saddlery in Stockyard City. Examples of his craftsmanship can be found in homes and barns around the world.
Sergeant Major (US Army Retired) Curtis G. Ward completed his final temporary duty assignment in the early morning hours of Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020, dying peacefully in his own bed and surrounded by people who loved him. He was 86 years old.
Born on April 8, 1933 in Moore, Okla., to John and Mollie (Kirkland) Ward, in his nearly nine decades of life Curtis answered to many names, including Genie Boy, Curt,
Grounded in his baptism and his mother’s dream that he become a preacher, Curtis may have left Bible college, but he never left behind his Christian faith, which he gently shared with his children, grandchildren, and godson. Confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1968 and active in Episcopal congregations around the world, in retirement he found a loving community at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Midwest City, Okla. He lived out his faith formally as a lay reader, Eucharistic minister, usher, vestryman, churchwarden, and Palm Sunday donkey wrangler, as well as through a generosity of spirit that manifested in countless informal and often anonymous charitable works.
Curtis met his wife, Christine (Fiedler) Ward, to whom he was married for more than 50 years, while stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, and in 1986 he moved with her to Choctaw, Okla., where he made his home until shortly after her death in 2018. As his own health declined in his last years, he moved first to Midwest City, and then finally leaving his beloved Oklahoma for Bloomington, Ill., to be closer to immediate family and where he charmed new friends with his colorful stories.
Together Curtis and Christine raised four children, all of whom survive: Harald Ward (Anne) of Colonial Beach, Va.; Terry Rose Bailey (Mickey) of Jacksonville, Ark.; Claudia Ward, RSM, of St. Louis, Mo., and Mollie Ward (Greg Shaw) of Bloomington, Ill. Survivors also include six grandchildren: Robert MacConaugha (Kim) of Cabot, Ark.; Paul Ward (Caitlin) of South Korea; John Ward of Mechanicsville, Md.; Michael Ward (Erika) of Palmyra, Va.; Fiona Ward Shaw of Northampton, Mass., and Ian Ward Shaw of Bloomington, Ill.; seven great grandchildren: Logan, Luke and Mya MacConaugha of Cabot, Ark.; Henry and Oliver Ward of Palmyra, Va., and Charles and Harrison Ward of South Korea, and a sister, Marva Nell Outhier of Enid, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends in the United States, Germany, Australia, and many other places.
In addition to his wife, Curtis was preceded in death by his parents as well as his brothers Eual Ward, Troy Ward, and Fred Ward, and his sisters, Janice Giles, Pauline May, Oleta Wynn, Martha Jane Williams, Wynema Jackson, and Lurlene Outhier.
Loyal not only to his faith, family, and country but to his identity as an Okie, Curtis Ward’s earthly remains will be buried beside those of his wife and forebears in Corbett Cemetery, Cleveland County, Okla. A funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 800 Midwest Boulevard, Midwest City, Okla., with the Rev. Emily Schnabl presiding. Following a luncheon at the church, graveside services, including full military honors and a Masonic ceremony, are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the cemetery. Rest in peace. Rise in glory.
Obituary provided by: Terry Rose Ward-Bailey (Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 8, 2020)