VeteranLeslie Ward

Leslie WardLeslie "Les" A. Ward 91, of Frederick died at 10:06 p.m. June 23, 2011, at Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville.

He was born May 25, 1920, near Frederick, the son of William Fredrick and Pearl Geer Ward. He married Leola Erickson on Sept. 15, 1942, in San Francisco, Calif. She preceded him in death on May 21, 1986. He married Juanita "Nete" Tegeder Davis on July 10, 1987, in Rushville. She preceded him in death on April 8, 2002. He later married Mary Ann Veith of Beardstown on May 5, 2007, in Rushville. She survives.

Also surviving are one son, David (and Aleowyn) Ward of Glenview; six stepchildren, Dan (and Teri) Davis, Tom (and Julie) Davis, Dana (and Jeff) Workman, Michael (and Angie) Veith, all of Rushville, Jennifer Veith of Springfield and Annette (and Curt) Hannig of Versailles; three grandchildren; and six step grandchildren.

He also was preceded in death by one son, Richard Ward; and one grandson, Michael Lee Ward.

He attended school at Ward School #1 in Schuyler County, grade school in Rock Island/Moline and graduated from Amarillo High School in Amarillo, Texas, in 1938.

After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1940, and was assigned to the USS Bridge. After six years in the Navy, he attended and graduated from Bradley University in 1949, with an associates degree in building trades. In 1950, he was recalled to active duty in the Naval Reserves where he served during the Korean War. He was first assigned to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Mine Forces Atlantic Fleet. Later he was transferred to inactive duty and returned to Rushville.

He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until he retired on May 5, 1980, having completed 40 years. During his career in the Navy, his tour of duty took him all over the Pacific Ocean. He served on three ships — the USS Bridge, AF 1; the USS Oglala, ARC 1; and the USS Hector, AR 7. He also served as Personnel Officer U.S. Naval Communications stationed at Pearl Harbor for two years. He achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1943, was appointed a Warrant Officer in 1945 and retired with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer, W4 in May of 1980.

In the summer of 1954, when he returned to Rushville, he started his own business; Ward Construction, Inc. He operated this business until his retirement in 1985.

He was involved in organizations including the Guthrie Pierce V.F.W. Post #2305, Beardstown, and Schuyler American Legion Post #4, where he served as Commander on several occasions. He also was a member of the 40et8; Amvets Post 23; Fleet Reserve Association; Beardstown Elks Club; and long-time member of Rushville Flying Club.

He was a member of Rushville First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Services were held Tuesday at Worthington Funeral Home in Rushville with Rev. John Sowers and Rev. Ambose Stump officiating. Burial was in Rushville City Cemetery with military honors by the U.S. Navy and Schuyler American Legion Post #4.

Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, Culbertson Hospital Foundation or Schuyler County Humane Society.

Condolences may be sent to

Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 6/29/2011


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