Bill Ward

By Don Sanford

Bill Ward, age 72, died on May 1, 2015 at the Bridgewood Nursing & Rehab Center in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Bill was born in Madison on July 28, 1942 and was the only child of Truman Lane and Viola Anderson Ward. Both mom and dad were music lovers. They met at the Ward-Brodt music company where dad was the co-founder and mom worked setting up music education programs. The family lived on Kensington Blvd., and McBride Rd, in Maple Bluff, and later moved to Marshall Wisconsin.

Bill's father died when Bill was only 10 years old. Bill lived and cared for his mother until she died in 1998.

Bill started his education at Lakewood Elementary School and went on to Wisconsin High School, graduating in 1960. He attended the college of William and Mary, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1964.

Being an only child, he enjoyed spending time with his cousins, aunts, and uncles. His cousins, Bill and Malla, like to tell the story of Bill's visits to see them in Rochester, New York. He would drive straight through, arriving before dawn, sometimes honking the horn to announce his arrival. Other trips to visit family included going to Miami to visit an elderly aunt. It was during these visits that he became interested in deep-sea fishing.

Bill's other "adopted" families were the Winnequah Gun Club and the Mendota Yacht Club.

Bill belonged to the National Rifle Association, Winnequah Gun Club, and Middleton Sportman's Club. He devoted time and expertise to running shooting matches and upgrading shooting ranges. He won many awards in rifle, pistol, and skeet competition and was considered a Master Class Shooter. His skills led to national matches in Camp Perry Ohio. He was a good man in helping others to shoot straight.

He devoted much of his life, to running sailboat races. He began by helping Ernie and Roselle Henkel in the late 1950s. He ascended to head judge and principal race officer for the Mendota Yacht Club and Inland Lakes Yachting Association. The sailboat races were always in good hands when Bill was in charge. Many residents along the lake remember the resonating canon blasts for the start and finish of the races Bill ran on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

In May 2006, Bill suffered from a fall that caused spinal cord damage and made him paraplegic for the rest of his life.

Bill was big hearted and always willing to help, whether it was solving some technical problem or just being a good listener. His big booming laugh was his hallmark, even after his injury.