OVERTON - Services for Ralph Ward Jr., 63, of Overton, Texas, will be 3 p.m. Friday, January 21, 2011, at First United Methodist Church, Overton with the Rev. Fred Parsons officiating. Chili Ward II and Dottie Ward will serve as honor guards. Burial will be in the Overton City Cemetery.
Mr. Ward died Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at his residence, due to recently diagnosed pancreatic cancer. He was born February 7, 1947, in Tyler to the late Ralph Ward Sr. and Nellie Louise Fenoglio Ward. He was president and treasurer of the Bruce McMillan Jr. Foundation Inc. He started working with his father there in February of 1984, and took over in 1995, after his death. He married Cathy Lynne Sharp March 14, 1995.
He graduated Overton High School in 1965 and attended Kilgore College from 1965-1968. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1970 from Stephen F. Austin State University and majored in technical agriculture and minored in business administration.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University, with a major in agriculture, in 1973. He majored in ag journalism and received his masters degree in 1976.
He did his postgraduate work at Sul Ross State University, Uvalde Study Center College of Business Administration in 1981-1983 and, in 1988, he attended Kilgore College and studied for an Associate of Arts.
He received an FFA Lone Star Farmer degree in 1965 and 1988, and has been a member of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University, since 1973.
He was Exchangite of the Year, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia, in 1978-1979 and was president, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia. He received the Nations Best Club Bulletin Award, Small Club Division, National Exchange Club in 1979-1980 while serving as Editor, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia.
He served as treasurer, Kiwanis Club of Uvalde in 1981-1982, and as secretary from 1982-1984.
He was recipient of the Pioneer ACE Award, Southern U.S. Region (VA to TX), Agricultural Communicators in Education in 1983.
He was a past president of the Overton Rotary Club District 5830, serving 1987-1988, received the District 5830 Service Award from Rotary International and was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He was editor of the Rotary Club Bulletin and received the Best Club Bulletin Award.
He was a member of the Gamma Sigma Delta, The Honor Society of Agriculture, Texas A&M Chapter in 1988.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Northeast Texas Treatment Center from 1984-1989 and served as president from 1988-1989.
He had been the secretary for the Rusk County Agriculture and Youth Exposition Center since 1988, and also had been the coordinator for the Overton Buyer Groups Rusk County Youth Project Show since 1992.
He had served on the College of Agriculture Development Council, Texas A&M University since 1994, and had been the chairman for the Kilgore College Agriculture Program Advisory Committee since 1999.
He received a 4-H Outstanding Service Award, Roundup 4-H Club, Rusk County in 2000 and the Outstanding Alumni Award, Kilgore College Agriculture Program in 2001
He completed funding on the COADC-Ralph & Cathy Ward Endowed Scholarship in Agricultural Journalism in 2010. The Wards have also funded two other previous scholarships with Texas A&M in the College of Agriculture Development Council (COADC).
He was Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2001 for the Overton-New London Area Chamber of Commerce.
Survivors include his wife, Cathy of Overton; and his two dogs, Chili Ward II and Dottie Ward; and a host of relatives and good friends.
Pallbearers will be Wendell Schronk, Ernie Gill, Keith Montgomery, Rene Goforth, Robert Porter, Bob Young, Jeff Grote, Rogers Pope, Horace McQueen and David Gunn.
Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Holmes, Wayne Lacy, Dr. Billy Wayne Irwin, Dr. Fred Thornberry, Rob Russell, Ken Ragle and Bill Hale.
Visitation will be from noon-3 p.m., prior to the funeral service, Friday, January 21, 2011, at the church.
Ralph requested that donations be made to the City of Henderson Animal Shelter, 2257 Hwy 259S, Henderson, TX 75654 or charity of your choice.
Online registration and condolences are available at www.cottlefuneralhome.com
This obituary was originally published in the Longview News-Journal.