ERIE — Raymond E. “Ray” Ward, 79, of Erie died at 4:55 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, at Prairie Mission Retirement Village in St. Paul.
He was born Jan. 16, 1933, in St. Paul to Add and Elsie (Holding) Ward. As a young boy, he grew up and attended school in St. Paul. For a time, he farmed with his uncle Bud Holding. He then served in the United States Army during the Korean War.
He married Mary Ann Brooks on Dec. 18, 1953, in Girard. In 1954, the couple moved to California, where he worked at Pacific Lumber Co. for 15 years before returning to St. Paul. Upon his return to the area, he worked for both the Katy and Union Pacific railroads. While working for the U.P. Railroad, he was later transferred to Little Rock, Ark., and, upon his retirement, had served a total of 22 years with the railroad. Since 1991, the couple had made their home in Erie.
He was a member of the Erie Federated Church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling, bowling, playing his guitar and in earlier years sang in a band. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Ward of the home; two daughters, Loretta Kopaccewski and her husband, Ron, of Winneconne, Wis., and Sharon Vallier of Carl Junction, Mo.; five grandchildren, Scott Madl, J.T. Madl, Shaun Madl, Bryan Vallier and Nathan Vallier; three great-grandchildren, Taylor Madl, Wray Ann Vallier and Emmy Madl; a stepgranddaughter, Liz Kopaccewski; four brothers, Don Ward of Grove, Okla., Tom Ward of Fortuna, Calif., Arnie Ward of St. Paul and Ronnie Ward of Plymouth Falls, Ore.; and a sister, Opal Beard of Erie.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Marvin and Albert Ward; and a grandson.
Following cremation, a memorial service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, near Erie.
Memorials are suggested to Erie Federated Church. These may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.