John Ward Sr., formerly of Montclair, died on Jan. 28, 2021, in California. He was 92.
Mr. Ward was born in 1928 in Blakely, Ga., to the late Laura Jakes Ward and the late Clifford Ward. The family moved to New Jersey a year after his birth; he was the eldest of three children.
He was educated in the Newark public schools and earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
Mr. Ward married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Wilson, in 1950, and then moved to Montclair, where the newlyweds joined St. Paul Baptist Church. He served on the board of trustees, and the couple were part of the choir.
Mr. Ward and his wife celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year. The had two children, John Jr. and Michelle Denise.
He had many interests during his life. His work experience began in accounting during the early years of marriage, and in 1960 he entered the advertising field. After 32 years, he retired from Lewis Advertising as vice president and general manager.
Mr. Ward was well-known for his love of trains and travel. He enjoyed classical music and was an accomplished fine artist and sculptor. He had a one-man art show in 1969 in New Jersey.
He traveled with his wife, and often with his children and grandchildren, throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and China.
He taught himself to play the piano “for his own amazement,” as he liked to say, and took cello lessons for five years beginning on his 80th birthday.
Throughout his life Mr. Ward served the church in many capacities, including as deacon and trustee in both New Jersey and Southern California.
He retired in 1993, and in 1995 he and his wife moved to California, where he continued his devotion to church work and community service.
Mr. Ward was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend. His love of family was the consummate goal of his life. His positive role model reflected his integrity, humor and generosity. He always strove for excellence in continued learning.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret; children, John Ward Jr. (Paula) and Dr. Michelle Denise Ward (Renee); grandsons Justin Aaron Ward (Cassandra), Jason Adam Ward (Jennifer) and Nadia I. Oliver Ward; granddaughter Melissa Brooke Ward, great-grandsons Jason Alexander, Jamison Adam, Jonathan August and Jaxon Abel, and brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and many friends.
His sister, Carmella Hamilton, and his brother, Charles, predeceased him, as did a granddaughter, Melinda Blair.
Services and interment at Rosedale Cemetery had not been set as of press time.
Arrangements were by Martin’s Home for Service.