Willard Dale "Pete" Ward, 87, a friend to all of Hillsville, Va., passed away Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, one day past his 87th birthday.
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A lifelong resident of Carroll County, Pete was the beloved father of Pam Collins; father-in-law of Joe Collins; and grandfather of Ward, Hobe and Sara Collins, all of Franklin, N.C.; as well as faithful brother of Ann Largin of Hillsville, Georgia Webb of Woodlawn and Pat Rollison of Richmond.
Pete was born Oct. 2, 1925, to Emmette and Cecil Ward in Pipers Gap.
He graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1943 and joined the Army at age 18. He received a business degree post-war at Bluefield Business College. He was a World War II veteran, assigned to the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion. He was a Lifetime Member of Grover King VFW Post 1115.
Pete was a charter member of the Hillsville Lions Club, serving for 57 years. He was a long-time stalwart of Hillsville First United Methodist Church, serving as treasurer for 32 years.
Pete retired in January 2012, after working 62 years and 2 months with the Guynn Company. For most of those years, he was manager of Guynn Hardware and Furniture on Main Street in Hillsville. When not serving customers, Pete could be found tending his garden or drinking coffee and swapping stories with the early morning regulars at TNT Grocery.
Pete was preceded in death by wife, Shirley Burnette Ward; his parents; brother, Bill; and sister, Rowena Manning.
Visitation was Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Funeral Home in Hillsville, with funeral services on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Hillsville. Pete will be interned beside his wife Shirley at Wilkinson Cemetery.
Nephews will serve as pallbearers, and employees of Guynn Hardware and Furniture will serve as honorary pallbearers.
A guestbook is available online at www.vaughanguynnandmcgrady.com.
Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel is serving the family.
Published in Galax Gazette from Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, 2012