Charles Alvin “Chuck” Ward, aged 81, passed away at his home in McRae, Arkansas on the morning of Wednesday, February 20, 2019. He was born on September 1, 1937 in Garfield, Arkansas to parents Charles B. and Noma L. (Turney) Ward.
After his father’s untimely passing in 1943, when Chuck was six years old, his family moved to Yakima, Washington to work in the apple orchards. It was here, in eastern Washington, that he developed a love for the great outdoors, wildlife, hiking, the mountains and a deep commitment to his family and his four siblings. After they also lost their mother in 1956, he joined the military to help support his family.
Chuck served in the U.S. Air Force as a B-47 bomber service mechanic from 1956-64. While stationed in his birth state of Arkansas at the Little Rock Air Force Base, he happened to be invited on a blind double date with an Air Force buddy. His date, 18-year old Mary Jane Crisco would become his wife on October 2, 1959 at Copperas Springs Church in McRae, Arkansas.
While traveling the United States from base to base, Chuck and Mary welcomed their son, Charles Elton in 1961 and daughter Kathryn Renee in 1963.
After he was discharged, they settled on Mary’s family farm in 1964. He worked many years at the Vickers factory in Searcy, Arkansas, until he retired in 1997 to enjoy his life with his family on Crisco Ward Farm.
An avid outdoorsman, Chuck enjoyed hunting in his own woods, fishing in his own pond and traveling to the mountains of Colorado and the lakes of Louisiana to hunt and fish some more. He enjoyed reading western and military novels and sci-fi, playing cards with friends and family, riding 4-Wheelers and participating in the Little Red River Gun Club. He was a lifetime fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
His legacy is one of love, commitment and devotion to his family. Spending time with them was his favorite thing.
Chuck is survived by his wife of fifty-nine years, Mary Jane (Crisco) Ward; son Charles E. (Sheron) Ward of McRae, Arkansas and daughter Kathryn R. (Chris) Gregurek of Little Rock, Arkansas; grandchildren Pamela K. (Chris) Gadler, Cathryn E. (Brian) Manis and Chance Gregurek; great-grandchildren Benton, Arwen and Raven Manis and Ciara and Cassi Gadler; brothers Bob (Maryann) Ward, of Fresno, California, and Ivan Ward of Kannapolis, North Carolina; sister Sue (Bob) Cottingham of Rogers, Arkansas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles B. Ward and Noma L. Turney Ward Keeling and sister Wanda Ward Kellett.
Family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday at Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home, Beebe. Graveside service will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 25, 2019 at Weir Cemetery. Arrangements by Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home. www.smithfamilycares.com