Robert J. Ward

Robert J. Ward, 71, of West Hazleton passed away Saturday evening in Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

He was born in Hazleton, son of the late Thomas and Mary (Vetashick) Ward. He was a member of Annunciation Parish at the Church of St. Gabriel, Hazleton.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, he served during the Vietnam War in the U.S. Army Material Command, attaining the rank of sergeant.

Robert started his career in fire service at the age of 14 in the Hazleton Rescue Squad. He joined the West Hazleton Fire Department and became a career firefighter for the Borough of West Hazleton in 1975, and was appointed chief on Jan. 1, 1982, a position he held until retiring in 2011. Along with his duties as chief, he was a state fire instructor and taught at community college fire training centers in Luzerne, Bucks, Harrisburg and Butler counties, to name a few, and practically every fire company or department in Northeast Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Six County Fireman's Association, the Pennsylvania State Firemen's Association and a number of state and national instructor's associations.

In addition to his duties as fire chief, he served the Borough of West Hazleton in the capacity of code enforcement officer and zoning officer.

Robert was preceded in death by an infant brother; and a grandchild, Annsley Ward.

He is survived by his wife, the former Shirley Banks; his sons, Robert Ward and Patrick Ward; two brothers, Thomas Ward, Hazleton; Joseph Ward and his wife, Teresa, Hazleton; five grandchildren, Elleysea, Andrew, Daniel, Avaleah and Annalia Ward; and nieces and nephews, Kelly Ward, Julie Derr, Mary Lombargo, Lynn Ward, Eric Ward, Tom Ward Jr., Karen Kisenweather and Diane Stefanick.

Friends, relatives and firefighters are invited to attend the Mass of Christian Burial at at 10 a.m. Saturday at Annunciation Parish at the Church of St. Gabriel. There will be a gathering and a procession of honor into church for fire companies and firefighters upon his arrival at 9:15 a.m. COVID-19 protocols will be enforced.

Interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

A vehicle procession will follow at the end of services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Robert's memory to the Lehigh Valley Burn Foundation or the West Hazleton Fire Department Santa Fund would be appreciated by the family.

Arrangements are under the direction of Frank J. Bonin Funeral Home Inc., Hazleton.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Standard-Speaker from Jan. 11 to Jan. 12, 2021.
Memorial Gathering
Annunciation Parish at the Church of St. Gabriel
Mass of Christian Burial
Annunciation Parish at the Church of St. Gabriel
Funeral services provided by:
Hilary J Bonin Funeral Home
Sponsored by Hilary J Bonin Funeral Home.
Add a Message
8 Entries
I will miss Bob he a teacher in the fire service. I will miss you Bob
Paul Miller
January 17, 2021
Honor to have known you Bob. Until we meet again my friend.
Nate Evans
January 16, 2021
He was a great guy I will always remember him prayers to his family
Alrena Krapf
January 16, 2021
So sorry for your loss! Are thoughts and prayers are with you! I know Bob will be deeply missed! Sorry we couldn't be with you at this time! We live in California now! Al and Gloria Ward Holly.
Gloria Holly
January 15, 2021
Robert was a long-time member of our PAD Camping Family Group. He was a kind man and always willing to help others. He was always an attraction when walking his Dalmatian puppies. He was more than just a customer to PAD..he was a good friend. He will be missed by many. RIP Bob!
Carolee Powell
January 15, 2021
My brother Jeffrey and myself send our condolences to the Ward family. Robert was a well known and respected citizen of the West Hazleton and Hazleton areas. He will be missed by family and many friends. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the Ward family during this most difficult time.
John Vetashick
January 14, 2021
We are extremely sorry to hear about Bobby's passing.
He definitely left an indelible impact on so many!
Please accept our deepest condolences.
Rachel & John Griffith
Rachel Griffith
January 13, 2021
He will be sadly missed .
Sindylou Saullo-hoffman
January 12, 2021