In Memory

James Ward

Survived By: Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Diane; his children, James (Carolyn), Daniel (Agus), Marie (David); six grandchildren, Alan, Evan, Carolina, Daniela, Nico, and Felix, with two more grandchildren on the way; Brothers Tim and Pat; and Sister Kathy. He is preceded in death by his parents, Emma and James, and sisters Doreene and Colleen.

Jim attended Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where he made close life-long friends. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1976 with an A average in math and was commissioned in the Army.

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02/11/22 12:27 PM #1    

Ray Miranda

It’s been a while since I’ve logged into this website and when I scrolled down “The In Memory” page, I was saddened to see so many of my friends and high school classmates have passed.

Joel Scudder, Rodney Hansen, Richard Willsey, Ronny Hatfield and Jim Ward are just a few.  Of all those friends, Jim Ward’s posting hurt the most.

I met Jim in the eighth grade while I attended Saint Patrick’s Catholic school in Bisbee.  I lived in Bisbee at the time and Jim with a few other kids carpooled in from Fort Huachuca where their parents were stationed.   He was quiet, well-mannered and the smartest kid in the class.  We weren’t that close back then but  moved to Sierra Vista in 9th grade.  Jim and I became friends playing on the football team.

When we graduated, Jim and I went our separate ways and lost contact.  Jim attended the U of A and later enlisted in the Army.  I enlisted in the Air Force where I remained on duty for over 20 years.

A few years after retiring from the military I was a defense contractor and it was during an assignment at a government site in Washington DC, I ran into Jim by pure chance.  I was walking down a hallway when I saw this Army Colonel who I vaguely recognized, he was surrounded by some government dignitaries talking. As I got closer, I saw his name tag which said “Ward”.  The colonel noticed me staring at him and his eyes lit up when he recognized me. We shook hands and we chit-chatted catching up as much as we could.  He was an Intelligence officer touring the operations systems of our site and heading back home.  As we talked, I noticed the government officials were growing impatient so I said my goodbyes and told Jim we should get in contact in the future, of course, this never happened as we both had our jobs and lives that took precedence.

Years later, Jim and I reconnected at our 40th reunion. We kept in contact via texts and phone calls throughout the next ten years. He told me of his illness when he was diagnosed and the last time we spoke was around April of 2021. He told me that he was fighting the beast as best he could. He tried to sound upbeat, but I knew by his tone that things weren’t going well. He passed away a month later.

I remember the times we spent together hanging out at school, playing football, working at the fort doing odd jobs, or driving up to Tucson to watch U of A football games.  We got in trouble together too.  One time I talked Jim into throwing snowballs at kids in the school courtyard on a rare occasion it snowed in Sierra Vista.  Now, I was used to getting in trouble, but Jim was a goody-goody never breaking the rules.  I teased him about this all the time, and he would get mad at me.  Anyway, Mr. Cisterna caught us and took us to the principal’s office where he gave us each one swat as punishment. Now you must remember that back in the day corporal punishment was accepted and it was no big deal, at least not to me since I was getting my ass busted since junior high. Jim on the other hand had never been swatted until that day. When we left the office Jim was pale white and walking with a little limp. I said to him, “that old man really knows how to really swing a paddle huh?   Jim looked at me and said, “Shut up”.  I didn’t talk to me for a couple of days after that.   These were fond memories I have of my best friend I had in High School. I will always remember and miss him.

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