Edward James Ward, 85, of Bismarck, N.D. passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, February 15, 2009, in his room at the Edgewood Vista in Bismarck.
Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 24, 2009, at the St. John's Catholic Church in Nebish, Minn. with Fr. Luis Buitron officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, February 23, 2009 at the Cease Family Funeral Home, 2807 Irvine Ave. N, Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Interment will be at the St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Nebish.
Ed was born May 16, 1923, and raised on the west side of Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in World War II and served at Vallejo, Calif.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and at Midway Island. He married Eva Christine Yerbich on April 11, 1944. They were married for 63 years until she passed away October 23, 2007. They will rest forever beside each other in the peaceful wooded Minnesota farming community where Eva was born and next to their son Edward James Ward, III and among Eva's many relatives.
Ed was a loving husband and father of eight children, grandfather of 18, and great grandfather of three. He will be remembered for his wit, charm, kindness, and beautiful Irish tenor voice. He loved music and instilled that love in his children and grandchildren. His life revolved around his wife, children, and grandchildren. Vacations consisted of trips to visit the grandkids. He taught all the grandchildren how to shoot pool and he especially loved "bank shots" and "three rail shots." He never hesitated to go halfway across the country to help a move, work on a project, or just to baby sit. He worked as a sheet metal worker in Chicago for Local Union No. 73 and the Chicago Board of Education. He served for a time on the Executive Board of the Union and was active in Knights of Columbus. He finished his career as a Ventilation Inspector for the City of Chicago.
Ed and Eva retired to Bismarck in 1987 and lived for 20 years on Pocatello Street before moving to assisted living at Edgewood Vista in 2007.
Survivors include one sister, Lorraine Parker, San Clemente, Calif.; five sons, Lawrence, Rockford, Ill.; Thomas, Oakland, Calif.; Patrick (Elizabeth), Bismarck; Daniel, Rockford; Matt (Caroline), San Francisco; two daughters, Rita Ward Slater (Scot), Chazy, N.Y. and Natalie Ward, Plattsburg, N.Y.; one daughter-in-law, Sharon (Smith) Ward, South Portland, Maine; 17 grandchildren Brian, Cindy, Erin, Brent, Joel, John, Jane, Anna, Emily, James, Colin, Sarah, Cory, Eva, Clareen, Jeremy and Paul; three sisters-in-law, Agnes Cozzi, Burr Ridge, Ill., Marge Brogan, Willowbrook, Ill., Dorothy Ward Grasso, Chicago; and one brother-in-law, Fabian (Marie) Yerbich, Nebish.
He was predeceased by his wife, Eva; son, Edward; brother, Bud and a granddaughter, Heather, as well as his parents, Edward, Sr., and Rita (Lawless) Ward.
The family wishes to thank his caregivers, neighbors and friends at Edgewood Vista, especially Donna McCann and his former Pocatello Street neighbors, Ken Remmick and Mark Costain, for all the kindness and attention given Ed over the years.
The family prefers memorials to the God's Child Project or Alzheimer's Association.