VALDOSTA, Ga. – Paul Ward, 77, of Valdosta died on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 at Langdale Hospice House, following a lengthy illness. He was born in Tyner, Kentucky on February 20, 1932 to the late Sherman and Martha Baker Wright Ward. He was a retired Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force and served honorably during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. He was an active member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Mr. Ward was involved in many civic activities from volunteering for Hospice of South Georgia since 1997, to raising money for the Lowndes Service Center where he played Santa Claus from 1971 until 1993. From 1973-1975, he served as the first enlisted instructor of the JROTC at Lowndes High School, and also was an insurance agent for 35 years. Along with Willie Jones, he organized the Citizen’s Awareness League, and he also helped to organize the first volunteer fire department at Bemiss-Barretts. He and the late Ken Hardy developed the sports league at Moody AFB in the early 1970’s. He established the Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 460 and served as president of the first chapter formed at Moody. He also helped to organize The Retired Enlisted Association Chapter 59, and was an avid and active member. He volunteered monthly, for many years, at the VA hospital in Lake City, Florida. Mr. Ward was a member of the American Legion, Post 13, and an active member of the DAV, Chapter 14. He also was a member of the R.H. Johnston Masonic Lodge, McKee, Kentucky, and was a mason for 55 years. For 24 years, he was an active member of the MAFB Chapel and served in various capacities. He loved God, his family, his country, and loved talking politics – and he walked the talk.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Barbara Shadid Ward of Valdosta; a daughter, Paula Ward and her fiance, Rod Caulkins of Nashville, Tennessee; a daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Don Anderson of Cookeville, Tennessee; two sons and daughter-in-law, Brian and Robin Ward of Peachtree City and David Ward of Athens; two grandchildren, Seth Anderson and Samia Anderson of Cookeville, five stepgrandchildren, Leana Brandlehner and Ryan Brandlehner, both of Athens, and Jacob Brandlehner of Peachtree City; Maggie and Joe Green and Ava Caulkins all of Nashville, Tennessee; brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Wanda Ward of Florence, Kentucky; sister and brother-in-law, Deanna and Herman Judd of Connersville, Indiana; a brother, Fred Ward of Fairborn, Ohio; a brother and sister-in-law, Hiram and Lonice Wright of Norwood, Ohio; several generations of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers, Jimmy Wright, Charley Wright, Leonard Wright, Virgil Wright, George Wright , Wilbur Ward, Elias Ward and John Ward; Sisters, Dema Wright Gray, Dorothy Wright Lynn, Dovie Ward and Ocie Ward.
Services for Paul Ward will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 18, 2009 in the chapel of the Carson McLane Funeral Home with Rev. Don Vollenweider and Rev. William Diamond officiating. The burial with full military honors will take place at 2 P.M. on Dec. 21 at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. at Carson McLane Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of South Georgia. Staab Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements