Goodbye to David G. Ward

Many of my readers didn’t know David Ward.  That was certainly your loss.  Today we bury his mortal remains.  But the fragrance of his life lives on.  In David we experienced the echoes of the excellencies of the Eternal God.  David knew and walked with the Lord. 

David and I served together on the Elder Board at Blue Ridge Community Church.  We had some really great times.  Our hearts and prayer go out to his dear wife and family.  I am including below his obituary. 

You might not have known David, but you will be able to sense the legacy of a well-lived life.  May God help more of us to live in such a way that people will miss us when we’re gone! 

David G. Ward, after a courageous battle with cancer, died on April 10 in Charlottesville, VA. He faced death fearlessly, just as he had lived, with unwavering hope in Christ.  Known for his love of family and community, he was surrounded by a multitude of friends to the very end.  He was 46.  

Born June 20, 1963 in Bethlehem, PA to Dick and Margo Ward, he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1981.  In 1986 he married his High School sweetheart, Joanne Underwood.  The couple moved to the Charlottesville area in 1991. 

David Ward held engineering degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was the Senior Technical Director and President of Barron Associates in Charlottesville. Highly respected in his field, he authored numerous publications and served as the Chair of important national and international committees and conferences.  Mr. Ward’s research was concentrated in stochastic optimization of complex systems, robust on-line parameter identification, and receding-horizon optimal control.  In 1996, Mr. Ward spearheaded the development of an adaptive flight control system that was the first ever to be successfully flight tested. 

 An avid outdoors person, David’s life was full of adventure.  From piloting small aircraft to mountain biking, playing squash, zip-lining, riding motorcycles, and whitewater rafting, he was always moving.  A committed Christian, he was a highly influential leader and skillful Bible teacher who served on the board of Elders in the churches he attended over the years. Dozens of men considered him their “best friend”.  Intensely humorous, loyal and honest, David was known for his direct but relational style of communicating, loving people enough to tell them the truth and buy them a beer. 

David Ward was a faithful husband and a loving father.  He is survived by his wife; four children, Danielle, Karisa, Caleb, and Nicole; his parents; his brother, Tom Ward, and sister-in-law Michele, all of Earlysville. 

 A time of viewing and public visitation will be hosted on Wednesday, April 14th from 5 to 7PM, with an open microphone for sharing memories from 7-8PM, at the Blue Ridge Community Church, 5372 Lake Saponi Terrace, Barboursville.  The Funeral will be held at 2PM at the Christ Community Church, 329 Riverside  Avenue, in Charlottesville, VA, with a reception following.  There will be a private interment for immediate family members only.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable contributions be made to Rivanna Community Church Prague Fund  (a rehabilitation mission for drug and alcohol abusers in the Czech Republic), c/o Rivanna Community Church, PO Box 587, Ruckersville, VA 22968.    

One thought on “Goodbye to David G. Ward

  1. I was blown away by the number of people at the time of sharing last night. I learned that I should have spent more time getting to know this man. I knew the “mean Mr. Ward” (as dubbed by the Elder kids….funny story) better than the wonderful, caring, gentle, sensitive Mr. Ward. He indeed touched countless lives in every area of his life from the squash court to the office to the church to the friends in college and high school. The testimonies of this man’s life have inspired me to be more involved in the lives and hearts of others.

    Grace and peace to all who knew and loved David G. Ward. We will see him again!

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