Fred Ward

    Fred E. Ward, 90, of Riverton, Wyoming passed away peacefully on February 16th 2023, at Westward Heights Care Center in Lander, Wyoming. Fred was the son of Zeb Washington and Ruth (Hockett) Ward. He was born on July 26th, 1932 at the family ranch on Dogie Creek in northern Niobrara County, and was raised on the ranch with his two brothers, Grant Robert and Charley Claud. Grace Vera and May Ellen were his sisters. Grace was the first born in the family but died when she was an infant.

    Fred attended the O’ Shay school just north of the ranch through 4th grade, however the school had to be relocated and he was boarded up the local ranchers. Fred would visit the family ranch on holidays and during the summer. From the 7th grade to his Junior year, he attended school in Lusk. In 1951 he transferred to Manville High School, by that time his parents moved into Manville across the street from the school.

    Fred enlisted in the United States Navy in 1952 and within one year of service, he was accepted in with the Seabee’s that was attached to the Marine Aircraft wing in South Korea rebuilding airbases, roads, or anything under the sun during the Korean War. In 1956 Fred was honorably discharged from the Navy and settled back home in Manville having been trained by the Seabee’s to operate all forms of heavy equipment.

    On September 28th, 1957 Fred married Ethel Kathryn “Kit” at her parents home in Lusk Wyoming. Kit passed away February 8th, 2022. They had been married for 64 years, of which they had been sealed in the Mormon temple for all time and eternity. They had one daughter, Beth Melinda, born October the 9th 1958 in Lusk Wyoming. Beth had a son Heath Fred Ward, born November 30th, 1976, in Torrington Wyoming. At the age of 7 years old, Fred and Kit adopted him.

    Fred and Kit’s marriage started out in Lusk while Fred operated a salvage company. Fred worked all and any kind of construction job as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver. It was during his construction days with Lamb and various other employers where he met many life long friends. Fred flew to Chicago Illinois to auctioneer school as another skill to have as a hobby then would work cattle, and auction them off in the sale barns in Riverton and Greybull Wyoming to Brush Colorado. Fred worked and coordinated operations in Crawford Nebraska with the beef research program for three years. Fred’s true passion was to drive a semitruck and to have his own trucking company.

    In 1991 the Wards relocated to Lander, Wyoming where Kit got a job at the local high school as a guidance counselor and Fred working for American Laundry. During the summers Fred and Kit would take spring break and visit Arizona which was a family tradition that lasted well over 10 years along hosting family reunions. Fred won several safety awards and drove doubles over south pass without losing a load on icy roads or treacherous cross winds. In 2009, Fred went on to work for Turner Gas company alongside his son Heath, locally hauling propane and then transferred to North Dakota where is last run was to turn in his keys and finally retire at the age of 80 due to health issues in 2013.
    Fred is survived by his daughter, Beth Ward, his son Heath Ward, both of Riverton Wyoming. Two grandsons Benjamin Jared and Samuel Lorenzo Ward of California, his sister May Ellen Smith, of Manville as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

    Fred was preceded in death by his wife, Kit, his grandparents George Grant Ward and Susan Ellen (Parnell) Ward Wagner, Alvin and Ida May (Linville) Hockett, his parents Zeb and Ruth Ward, his sister, Grace Vera Ward, his brother Grant and his wife Ella Marie (Sides) Ward, his brother Charlie and his wife, Karey (DeHaven) Ward Hongala, his niece, Ruth (Ward) Howe, his brother-in-law Raymond Smith, his parent-in-laws Raymond and Deloris Morris, three brothers-in-laws, John, Donald, Richard Morris and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Cremation was provided by Wind Dancer Crematory Services of Lander, Wyoming. A virtual memorial service will be done by the family April 2nd, 2 PM MST, via Zoom that will be recorded. Burial will be in Dell View Cemetery in Manville, Wyoming on June 11th 3:30 pm.

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