The Rev. Dr. Richard A. Ward, age 80, of Aberdeen, died Wednesday, September 26, 2012, in Aberdeen. His memorial service was at 2 PM Monday, October 1, 2012, at First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen with the Rev. Eldon Reich officiating. His Rapid City service will be at 11 AM Friday, October 5, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church in Rapid City with Rev. Doug Diehl officiating. Burial will be at 3 PM Friday in the Mountain Meadow Cemetery near Roubaix Lake in the Black Hills. There will be no visitation. Memorials may be directed to Habitat for Humanity, First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen or the YMCA in Aberdeen or Rapid City.
Richard Allen Ward was born June 26, 1932 at Dell Rapids, South Dakota to Guy and Ethel Ward. He graduated from Dell Rapids High School, Dakota Wesleyan University and Iliff School of Theology. He earned a doctorate from North American Seminary and received an honorary doctorate from Dakota Wesleyan University.
Dr. Ward served as a pastor for 31 years in Draper-Vivian, Tripp-Delmont, Rinn, Colorado, Deadwood, Aberdeen, Rapid City and Huron. He served on the YMCA boards in Aberdeen and Rapid City. Dr. Ward was a member of Toastmasters, serving twice as the District Governor for South Dakota, and as an International Director. He was a member of the South Dakota branch of the American Cancer Society, the South Dakota Mental Health Association and had served as president of that organization for two years. He served on the President’s Committee on Aging, the White House Fellows Selection Committee, and was the executive director for Aberdeen Habitat for Humanity.
Dr. Ward preached in many churches across the United States, England, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. He was an adjunct professor at Black Hills State University, National College, USD, Huron University and Presentation College.
He married Lois Ruth Davis in Lemmon, South Dakota on July 29, 1956. They lived in California, Virginia, Guam, Colorado and South Dakota. He spent ten years as a medic in the Navy, including serving in Korea.
Dr. Ward was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gary and his son Jim.
Survivors include his wife, Lois of Aberdeen; one son, Al (Joye) Ward of Aberdeen; four grandchildren, Rich (Amber), Aleya, Alexis and Bowdrie Ward; and three sisters, Kathleen Sorenson of Plankinton, Karen Pooley of Bemidji, Minnesota and Nancy Pieretti of Reno, Nevada.