Family owned & family focused since 1952

Robert W. Ward




ward-robertRobert Wayne Ward, age 56, passed away in Chandler, Arizona on September 8, 2016.  The fifth of six children of Don and Janie Ward, Bob was born in San Diego, California on November 25, 1959. Being military, the family moved to Virginia and Illinois before settling in Oak Harbor, Washington when Bob was in the 2nd grade.  Active in Boy Scouts and Sea Explorers, Bob graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1977.  He completed a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Yugoslavia Zone of the Vienna, Austria District in 1982.  He attended Brigham Young University, and transferred to and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education in 1988.

At BYU he met the love of his life, Michele Sawyer, and married her on May 12, 1984 in the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple.  They settled in Chandler, Arizona and Bob taught at Arredondo and Laird Elementary schools for 20 years.  He was a gifted teacher, adored by his students and colleagues.  Most recently, he was working as a property manager for Heywood Community Management and a small business owner.

Bob and Michele were blessed with five children: Sarah, Robby, Julia, Jonathan and Lydia. His family was his pride and joy, and he loved any time spent with them, whether in work or in play.

Bob was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities, including as a Counselor in the Bishopric (to Bishops Roy Willis and Ron McCook), Executive Secretary, clerk, Cub Master, and Young Men’s President.

Although Bob sometimes yearned for the cool evergreen forests and deep blue waters of Washington State, he became a faithful Arizonan, eventually rooting for the Cardinals to defeat the Seahawks. He was an all-around sports fan and eagerly awaited BYU Football season.

Bob loved Oreos, watching football, playing basketball, the Beatles, BYU, his family and his church (not necessarily in that order).  He was kind and sweet and funny.  His superpower was to be able to name the musical artist and year of release of any pop/rock song, as well as to identify where he was when he first heard that song.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, LCDR Donald S. Ward (USN Ret).  He is survived by his wife, Michele; daughters Sarah (Andrew) Schomburg, Julia and Lydia; sons Robby and Jonathan; mother Mary Jane Kruming Ward; brother William (Jill); and sisters Lynn, Jean (Dave) Marshall, Donna Sue Holly, and Janice (Toni Taft), plus many nephews, nieces, and extended family who love him very much.

In lieu of flowers, you are invited to donate to Laird Elementary School, where Bob spent so much time doing what he loved. Please contact the family for details.

Services for Bob will be held Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:00am  at the LDS Galveston building 1950 W. Galveston Chandler, AZ with a visitation one hour prior.


  • Darce Mercado-Wood Posted September 12, 2016 1:02 PM

    You will be missed big time..

  • Steve and Rosie Graw, Utah County Posted September 12, 2016 2:17 PM

    Bob influenced my life in a positive way by his service to others, his steadfastness in his faith and especially his focus on his family. He left too soon, and will be sorely missed.

  • Cliff Goodman Posted September 12, 2016 4:50 PM

    One of the finest men I ever knew!

  • Christy Cuddy Posted September 12, 2016 5:46 PM

    An amazing man with the amazing talent to make people smile and feel important! I taught with Bob at Laird Elementary and coached softball after school with him….he loved kids, sports, and a good laugh! He showed me the ropes when I was a new teacher and taught me to have fun with the kids. I loved wearing overalls on Fridays because of Bob. You’ll be missed Bob!

  • Loma H Rothmund Posted September 12, 2016 7:04 PM

    An awesome father figure to so many young people, blood family or not. Prayers for the family. Kids your dad isn’t gone, he is still with you and watching over you. His priesthood is still strong over you.

  • Deb Purcell Posted September 12, 2016 7:08 PM

    So very sad. Went to school with Bob in Oak Harbor.

  • Diana Tibben Posted September 12, 2016 7:58 PM

    My heart was sadden when I heard this news. I met Bob my last year in Tempe when I became part of the Laird family. He was a kind man, who made me feel welcome. My thoughts and prayers to your family during this time. May the memories you have created feel you with joy in the times of sadness. With my deepest sympathy.

  • Deb Gale Posted September 12, 2016 9:47 PM

    We love Bob and his whole sweet family. Just good good people you can count on. Bob will be missed.

  • Robert Morgan Fisher Posted September 12, 2016 10:54 PM

    I am stunned and saddened by this. Knew Bob all the way back to grammar school. Love and mercy to his family.

  • Carol Willis Farrell Posted September 13, 2016 5:31 AM

    Bob was such a wonderful man and always so kind to the Willis family. He will be missed beyond words. Your family has been in my prayers all week.

  • Carol Couch Posted September 13, 2016 6:54 AM

    I met Bob and Michelle through my son in law(nephew) Charlie and daughter Sarah.. I had just moved here from Indiana and we went to see them. They were so welcoming and friendly. Bob said ” Now I know where Sarah gets it from.” Because we laugh and talk a lot. He was a very friendly and all around good guy and I am very glad I was able to meet him and Michelle and their wonderful family. You will be greatly missed. Carol Couch

  • The Murray’s Posted September 14, 2016 7:42 AM

    Mr. Ward you will be missed. You were such an amazing person. We will never forget the impact you had on our children while they were growing up. We will never forget the laughs we shared with you. Sending our thoughts and prayers to your family and friends during this heartbreaking time. We pray for God guide your loved ones and help them heal from your loss. Hugs to all. The Murray’s ❤

  • Cheryl Mousser Posted September 15, 2016 8:14 AM

    Our heartfelt love and prayers are sent your way. The gospel IS true and this will be more comforting at this time than ever before. Bless you and your family, and Connie and Dick, as well. Love, Dean and Cheryl Mousser

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *