Mike Ward
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Mike Ward Left us unexpectedly early in the morning on January 5, 2012. He will be missed as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, coach, teacher, mentor, son, brother and friend. As the longtime swim/dive coach at Rincon/University High School and as a SCUBA diver extraordinaire, he touched many, many lives. He is survived by his mother, Gloria; brothers, sisters, his wife, Pat; his three daughters, Jaclyn, Julie and Stacey and grandchildren, who were the apple of his eye. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rincon/University High School Swimming and Diving program. Visitation from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL, 6910 E. Broadway Blvd. Memorial Service 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at El Camino Baptist Church, 7777 E. Speedway with Pastor Ron Rushing officiating.


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Published in Arizona Daily Star on Jan. 8, 2012.
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Memories & Condolences
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27 entries
August 4, 2012
I'm incredibly saddened by the recent news of Mike's passing; my most heartfelt condolences to you, Pat and the rest of Mike's family.

I am immensely grateful and fortunate for having Mike in my life, and after 35 years can easily say he had a tremendous, positive impact. Mike you will be missed.

I met Mike in 1977 as a freshman at UofA that desperately wanted to dive, but couldn't afford it. He had me cleaning tanks and fixing regulators and so on; diving every other week or so for what ended up to be an incredible four years. How lucky could a kid be, and how much more generous could anyone have been as Mike was? Under Mike I ended up becoming a NAUI instructor along with four other great guys; teaching at the U and the Country Club. For four years I had a mentor, teacher, legend, older brother, Dutch uncle, drill sergeant, tormentor and above all, great friend. What the heck he ever saw in me I still don't quite know. But I saw all those things in Mike and more.

I'm was an East Coast guy until just a few years ago; I saw Mike a couple of times including two years ago when I came to Tucson and went to San Carlos. My 2010 Christmas present from Mike was a day on El Duque for just my family; a family memory we will cherish forever. On that day I took my 12 year old daughter for her first open water dive. She was a mere five years younger than I was when I first hit the water with Mike. We are, I'm sure one of countless legacies Mike left on the world...

Thanks Mike, for so many things.
Jon Rosen
June 29, 2012
So sorry to hear news of Mike's passing. I managed Aqua Fun and ran trips with Mike to San Carlos for a couple of years right after the Gulf War... challenging times for the dive industry. I can't say that Mike was always the easiest guy to work with - but I will always be grateful to him for giving me my first chance to run a business and passing onto me his many lessons learned in retail and instruction. Mike had so much going on between teaching, coaching, running a business, raising a family - I generally saw him in the store every day... and once he got yelling at me out of his system, he got down to teaching me. I can count the individuals that have had a profound impact on my life on one hand - Mike is certainly one of them. We kept in touch a bit over the years, running into each other at industry events from time to time. I am grateful that I got the chance to tell him recently how much he meant to me - and to see him take genuine pride in my accomplishments in the years since. I'll miss you Mike - my thoughts are prayers are with your friends and family.
Doug Krause
January 16, 2012
Dear Pat and family,
The memorial service for Mike was a wonderful reflection of his personality, love of life and the impact he had on so many people. I have wonderful memories of the times we spent with you all and the excitement of my underwater experiences with him. The two of you have created such a beautiful family and his memory will be cherished by them and by many others. A life lived fully!
Carolyn Kemmeries
Carolyn Kemmeries
January 12, 2012
Mike Ward was my gymnastics coach and mentor. I would not have made it through high school or gone to college without his help and support. I thank God for putting such an awesome man like Mike in my life! I love you Mike and look forward to seeing you in heaven!!!! Paul Manzo
Paul Manzo
January 11, 2012
Mr. Ward was an excellent teacher, this news shocks me! he definitely touched many lives including mine... He always believed in me and did not let me stop believing in myself. Mr. Ward will be truly missed!
January 11, 2012
El Duque, Sea of Cortez, San Carlos, Tucson,, Mike created some magical times for so many, proud to have had time with him as a friend.
Will Shepard
January 11, 2012
Lovely memorial service. Our family has great memories of Mike as Joe's swim coach. We enjoyed all the time spent with him, working with Pat at the meets and the encouragement and support he gave the kids. The world will miss him and condolences to his family. the Hazeltine family
January 11, 2012
Pat,many years have past since Mike and I spent time together along with my old friend Lane Larson. San Carlos holds many memories of Mike and scuba diving.Keep the memories and cherish them.
Mark Berard
January 11, 2012
1984 - Wonderful memories of a scuba trip with my dad, Bill Kemmeries, Mike, and friends, as we headed to San Carlos for diving certification. Quite the adventure! Engine died, scolded for going down 100 feet with his cute intern on my second dive, dingy tipping over as we headed in for dinner - soaking wet (but purse with my ticket survived as I swam to shore holding it high above my head). So many laughs. Mike and Papa Bill are swapping stories now , I am sure. My heart and prayers go out to Pat and the
family!
Kay Kemmeries Brassey
January 10, 2012
Dear Pat and family,
There are no words that could either comfort or express my sorrow for the loss of your beloved husband, father and grandfather. Please know that you are in our loving thoughts and prayers. We are so very sorry.
Ruth Aguilar-Hansen
January 10, 2012
Pat - My prayers are with you at this tough time.
Carol Vinson
Carol Vinson
January 10, 2012
Thinking of you and asking for you to get strength from your loved ones to help you get through these hard times. Take care and me miss you.
Ana Moll
January 9, 2012
Dear Ward Family,

Mike was a favorite coach and scuba instructor to me at Palo Verde, he was a favorite English teacher and Gymnastics coach to others there as well. Thank you for sharing his gift with all of us. Peace and Comfort for him and you all!

Mike Reidy Vancouver, WA
January 9, 2012
Pat it has been a very long time. My thoughts are with you. I remember fondly the many dive trips I took with Mike. He was such a out going person with a very charismatic personality. He will be missed
Paul Kircher
January 9, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Areli Zapata
January 9, 2012
Pat and girls,
Hope you know my thoughts,love and prayers go out to you all each and every day. If I can do anything at all for any of you please let me know.
My love- Debbie Keeler
Debbie Keeler
January 9, 2012
Those we love remain with us, for love itself lives on. At this time of sorrow my prayers and love are with you and your family.
Machi
Machi Carmona
January 9, 2012
Mike Ward. No finer dive instructor - yet he was so much more to some of us. Because of Mike I broke out of my shell, learned to enjoy life a little more. He gave a serious person like me the permission I needed to learn to ease up, relax and find peace of mind in the water. That translated into other areas of my life as time went on. Thank you to his wife and family for loaning him to us - we realize he was gone alot teaching us how to dive. The time Vern and others were lost on the Santa Barbara? I believe Mike was the last to roll back in off the water - he kept looking for the divers even when the search had been called off; he truly cared about people. I recall the time he spent hours in a storm after dark and plucked Reiner and I off the island - he was not too nervous about us he claimed (stating that he knew he trained me right) - but I did get a worried hug when I got on the boat, then another comment telling me they were all hungry and to get busy making dinner - LOL. Oh....Mike will be missed. I was blessed to sit and talk with him months back while we were both waiting for take out Chinese food - he reflected on his previous heart trouble, his cancer and the treatment, his overall outlook on life. But mostly the moment of reflection was on his wife, daughters and his grandchilden. The twinkle in his eye was still there. The island....oh the island off of San Carlos...so many slow trips on the El Duque on Saturday morning motoring out there... that bit of water should be named in honor of him. Ward's Highway. Blessings to his family and friends.
Shanon Easterday
January 9, 2012
Pat and family,

You will be in my prayers as you wind your way down this path of sorrow. May the love and support of your family and friends bring you solace.

Colleen DiBiase
Colleen DiBiase
January 8, 2012
Sorry for your loss. Mike will be missed in the scuba scene.
Jacques Brouwers
January 8, 2012
Pat and family, You are in my thoughts and prayers. Mike was my Junior English teacher at Palo Verde and allowed me to be the manager for the gymnastic team that year as well. He was an excellent teacher, coach and friend.
Bill Shewmaker
January 8, 2012
Dear Pat and Family,
You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Although we have not seen Mike in a long while,we have happy memories..the last one of him playing pool in our garage.
Many hugs and love sent your way,
Jim and Sandy Del Casale
Sandy Del Casale
January 8, 2012
I'm deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Mike. I have wonderful memories of dive trips on his boat. My diving experiences with Mike have been passed down to my marine biology students every year. He was a great teacher and friend.
Anna-Marie Gantt
January 8, 2012
Pat,
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I would really like to speak with you. Please contact me when you are able.
Iris Pearlman
January 8, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Dayna Owskey
January 8, 2012
My condolences to Pat and her family. Mike was a bright light of humor, talent and kindness. He was dedicated to his family, his students, his swim teams, and his friends. Having worked with Mike for many years at Rincon, I knew firsthand the kind of person he was, and how his passion and dedication touched so many people. He will be missed by all of us.

Andrea Haber
Andrea Haber
January 8, 2012
Pat and girls, and family
shocked and deeply saddened
Mike made a positve difference in so many lives, including ours....
there really are no correct words.
blessings to all of you,
uncle Mark and Deb
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