Robert 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.