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Jack's Story

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A memorial service for Jack L. Ward will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10:00 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church of Athens under the direction of Hannigan Smith Funeral Home.
Jack L. Ward passed away Sunday, October 15 at his home in Athens where he was being cared for by family members after enduring many months of debilitating illness related to heart disease and lung cancer. He was 82 years old.
Born on February 11, 1935 in Paducah, Texas, Jack was the son of Keith B. Ward of Paducah and Alice Coker Ward of Athens. His maternal grandparents, Bob and Minnie Coker, were also from Athens. He graduated from high school at age 16, was financially unable to attend college, and began working on a survey crew doing oil exploration on the Matador Ranch in Cottle County. By the age of 20, he was supervising a large seismograph crew in Louisiana. He later returned to Texas, used correspondence courses to acquire algebra and land surveying math skills and began working for his uncles Jack, Lee, and Charlie Coker, all land surveyors in Athens. He became a Texas Registered Professional Land Surveyor and worked in that capacity in Wichita Falls for several years before returning to Athens and establishing Jack L. Ward & Associates.
On October 6, 1972, he married the love of his life Shirley Ward. They raised a family of five children and spent a wonderful 45 years together.
Jack was a successful businessman and dedicated contributor to the Athens community. He was elected Henderson County Surveyor and held the position from 1970 until 2015. He served on several Texas State Surveying Boards and often offered short courses at annual Texas Surveyors meetings. Jack chaired the AISD School Board, was active in local youth sports, and coached little league baseball and YMCA football. Jack also served as President of the Board of the Athens County Club for two years. He enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman, on many occasions taking and teaching his sons, daughters and grandsons.
Pops was well known to all for his unique sense of humor. He freely offered a new joke or a shaggy dog story to all comers at the drop of a hat. The tint of these stories depended somewhat upon the company present and one often had to catch the glint in his eye to fully appreciate his most subtle quips. It has been rumored that, upon occasion, Jack enjoyed a glass of red wine.
Jack is survived by his wife, Shirley Ward of Athens; a brother, Keith B. Ward and his wife Diane and son Luke; children Susan Moynihan and her husband Dave, Michele Ricks and her husband Tim, Kim Dozier and her husband James, Mark Ramsey, and Scott Ward. In addition, he has seven grandchildren: Lauren Dozier, Craig Ramsey and wife Kaitlyn, Morgan Ward, Evan Ward, Eric Dozier, Alizabeth Ramsey and Alexis Ramsey.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that friends make donations in Jack's Memory to the Athens Food Pantry or to the First Presbyterian Church of Athens
Published on October 20, 2017
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