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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Donald Eugene Ward, 1925 — 2014

Surrounded by his loving family, Donald Eugene Ward, peacefully and gracefully passed away at his home on Dec. 17. He is survived by his beautiful and faithful bride of 69 years, Dorothy Ward; his three daughters, Dixie Hustead, Donnie Ward, and Dale Martin; son-in-law David Martin; ten grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and two more on the way.

His legendary life included interests in philosophy, science and spirituality. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman, a poet, inventor, writer, risk-taker, entrepreneur, singer and seeker of truth and adventure. His athletic interests through the years included handball, boxing, endurance horse racing, scuba diving, sky diving, and much more.

Don's achievements were accomplished with nothing less than strong passion, dedication and focus. His name may have been common, but there was nothing common about him.

Born on Dec. 23, 1925, Don was raised on an apple farm in Wenatchee, Wash. He was number seven of ten children and the last surviving member of his nine siblings. He passed away just six days shy of his 89th birthday.
His friends were many and lifelong. He was a self-made, self-taught man, exploring new ideas until his very last moments.

He was intensely patriotic and enlisted to serve as a pilot for his country during WWII, and as an officer during the Korean War. Both ended, however, before he was able to finish his training and be deployed for active duty.

It was during his military training at Minter Field in Shafter that he met his future wife, Dorothy, at a USO dance. It wasn't too many years after the war ended that Don used his VA loan to continue his aviation studies and become a pilot in civilian life.

Don selflessly dedicated his life to helping others. During the 60s and 70s, for ten years he volunteered his spare time as a Boy Scout troop leader for the mentally and physically challenged.

He served on city councils, school boards and was active in the civil service in both Bakersfield and Tehachapi. He donated more than ten gallons of his universal blood type to the needy.

After the death of his father in 1934, Don was only able to attend school to the 9th grade. He then entered the work force, working on the docks in Portland, Ore., to help support his mother and three younger brothers. As an autodidact he went on to earn his engineering license.

A deep love for the mountains inspired Don and Dorothy to build their home of the past 44 years in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the small community of Hart Flat.

He had a long storied career as a civil engineer and land surveyor. After working many years as a partner at Rickett, Reaves & Ward in Bakersfield, Don retired and started Ward Engineering in Tehachapi. He continued to work full time until his illness confined him to work from his home and he conducted business there until the day he died.

Many benefited from his endless generosity, unconditional love, kindness and wisdom. The influence and impact Don's life had on family, friends and community is immeasurable and timeless and will be with us always and the stories of his life will be retold for generations to come ... he will be sorely missed. He now has eternity to finally talk to "The One" who can truly grasp all the brain power that Don Ward possessed.

A celebration of Don's life will be held at a future date in the spring. For information call 661-747-0866 or 805-748-5813, or email questions to: dalelavonne51@yahoo.com.

Arrangements were made with the assistance of Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. For condolences please visit www.woodmortuary.net.

Posted:
http://www.tehachapinews.com/obituaries ... -1925-2014


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