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William Ward Fearnside

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William Ward Fearnside Obituary
William Ward Fearnside, of 39 Forest Street, Wellesley Hills, died on Saturday, August 20, 2011, after a long and happy life. He died peacefully at home, with his three children at his side. He was a loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, philanthropist, author, professor, veteran, peace advocate, doggerel poet and golf ball hunter. Though his biological heart has failed, his true heart lives on in his family and friends. Ward was born in Waban, Massachusetts in 1913 and moved to Wellesley at the age of six. Growing up on Upland Road, he enjoyed swimming and canoeing in Lake Waban and hunting for golf balls and arrowheads around the Nehoiden golf course. After graduating from Governor Dummer Academy and Bowdoin College, he used the money he had saved from selling reconditioned golf balls and mowing lawns in Wellesley to finance a six month sojourn in Europe, where he witnessed the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and became a lifelong opponent of fascism and advocate for world peace. On return to the U.S., he attended Harvard Law School and practiced law in Seattle and Denver, where he met his beloved Margaret. While Ward served in the Army in Europe during World War II, he and Margaret exchanged over 400 letters, leading the mailman invited himself to their wedding. After their marriage in December 1945, Ward and Margaret moved to California, where Ward got his Ph.D. in history and taught at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1959 the family moved back to Wellesley, where Ward has lived ever since. Together Ward and Margaret raised three children and the family spent many entire summers camping all over North America, one of the advantages of Wards 20 + year career as a professor at Babson College. He taught history and logic, concepts which, as he pointed out, all too infrequently coexist in the real world. Ward always felt that one should spend ones life doing what one enjoyed, and he very much enjoyed teaching. After retiring from teaching, Ward continued an active life. He enjoyed walking around Lake Waban and canoeing, hiking, traveling, golf ball hunting, and dinners with friends at North Hill. Friends and family were always the focus of Wards life, and he lovingly cared for Marg during the years of her decline with Alzheimers disease. After Marg died in 2004, Ward continued on | saddened by her loss but still a happy old man, as the sign he had installed over the front door still reads. Wards guiding philosophy, that Life is good, held until the end. His last days were much like the rest of his long life in that they were spent surrounded by people who loved him and knew that he loved them. Ward is survived by his three children, Philip Fearnside (Neusa Hamada) of Manaus, Brazil; Wendy Fearnside (Bruce Meier) of Madison, Wisconsin; and Tracy Fearnside (Joe Margevicius) of Palo Alto, California and by five grandchildren (Ben, Sam, Sayuri, Natsumi and Libby). He is also survived by many good friends and loving caregivers, who made it possible for him to remain in his home of so many years. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills, 309 Washington Street, Wellesley Hills.

Published in The Wellesley Townsman from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 2011
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