WARD, DANIEL BERTRAM
Daniel Bertram Ward died on July 30, 2016. Dan was born in 1928 in Crawfordsville, Indiana to Forrest and Ursula Ward. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sue, and is survived by their four children, Forrest, Gordon, Sylvia and Douglas and 10 grandchildren.
Dan was fascinated with Botany at an early age and earned his A.B. in Botany from Wabash College in 1950. He completed his Master's degree at Cornell University before the Korean War intervened and he served in the United States Army for two years, first as a cadre with the Chemical Corps Leadership Program at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and then as a technician in developing and testing chemical munitions at the Edgewood Arsenal facility in Maryland.
He returned to Cornell in 1954, completing his Doctorate in 1958. His thesis was on the numerical analysis of the northeastern species of Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae), this study was among the first to employ mathematical techniques for plant classification. He and Sue then moved to Gainesville for Dan to work at the University of Florida, first as a staff member of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and curator of the Station's herbarium, then as faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He retired in 1995 with the title Professor Emeritus but he never stopped researching and writing, and was dictating changes to his most recent work, on the early botanist Thomas Walter, as recently as a week ago.
Dan authored two books and over one hundred forty technical papers. His work focused on plant nomenclature, through which he was influential in determining and stabilizing the technical names of many southeastern plant species.
Professor Ward's field trips into the swamps of Florida with his students were legendary. He loved a good road trip and traveled with Sue and his family all over North America in the 1962 International Travelall and Airstream Trailer he still owned at the time of his death.
He was a life long environmentalist, and his passion for the outdoors shaped the lives and careers of his children and family. He was tenacious, brilliant and funny and a trusted confidant.
In honor of Dan's life, the family will gather at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Reception Hall, 4700 SW 58th Drive, Gainesville, on Thursday, August 4 from 5 to 7 pm. Please join us to remember him and to visit with his friends, children and grandchildren. Please visit his memorial page at
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