James P. Ward

james ward

THE EULOGY I WROTE FOR DAD, GIVEN AT THE WAKEI would like to say a few words about our dear father – James Patrick Ward. And would like to speak mostly in the present tense, for in truth my Dad, in his consciousness, in his spirit, is still very much alive – he has simply crossed over – to the other side, to home, where the physical body is no longer needed – to a place of light, of peace, of grace, and freedom. I have heard dying described as like having been in a rather stuffy room where too many people are talking and smoking, and then suddenly you see a door that allows you to exit, into fresh air and sunlight. Or perhaps it is like getting out of an old car that no longer works properly, which has been traveling on a very crowded, noisy street. We thank the car for its many years of service – as we thank our body and our mind for all the experiences of life, some painful, some joyful, and for what we have learned and how we have grown. We thank them for serving us well. But now, when our work and purpose here is completed, it is time to step out of that rather confining car, and step – free – into the Light! Indeed, this Earth is often a difficult school room, and now it is time for graduation! And so, as you know – my dear father was, is – a good and honorable man, a wonderful and loving husband and father. He is also a spiritual man – a man of kindness and compassion, who loves and cares so very much about his family, and also about humanity, the environment and animals, and making the world a better place. He was always there to lend a helping hand when he could. And Dad was liked and admired by so many friends and colleagues throughout his life. This is a beautiful little piece I found in his writings, and I quote ‘Sprinkling a bit of love and kindness to friends, relatives, and yes, to strangers every day gives one a cozy, comfortable feeling when you rest your head on your pillow at the end of the day.’ Dad of course served his country honorably in the army. He always believed in Democracy – in democratic values and ideals. In Senior High School, after campaign speeches (he’s good at making speeches) and classmate voting, he was elected Class President in 1939 and 1940, and statewide Student Council President in 1941. Our Dad is also a man with strength of character and conviction. Truth, fairness, and justice are important to him. Peace among nations and human rights are important to him – the rights of others, and his own. And he wasn’t afraid to stand up on occasion with a picketing sign either. – I recall that time many years ago when he picketed outside I think it was Kaufman’s Carpeting. They had installed Mum and Dad’s home with some faulty carpeting and would not replace it. And if I remember correctly his picketing was successful. (Jimmy had added that yes it was successful, they wanted him out of there!) I was proud of him for that, and for many other things. And I can see how so many of my and my brothers’ own beliefs and qualities have come from our Dad and Mum. Dad always had an intelligent mind, and liked to keep up with politics and current events and trends. [Regarding trends for example, some years ago when one of my nieces had either received or given one single sunflower, instead of a bouquet of other type flowers, Dad had commented that he liked that because it was different. This is why I had placed a single sunflower on his casket.] He was also interested in health and healing subjects, and many other topics and issues, quite a well-rounded person. And even though he had dementia during the last few years, and at times was confused, other times his mind was very clear, and through 2008 or maybe 2009, he still listened to ‘Meet the Press’ on a Sunday morning, and could still understand and discuss it, often better than the rest of us. It must have been hard for an active man who enjoyed golf and being independent, to be confined to a wheelchair during these past several years. And it was difficult and tragic for a man with such a keen and creative mind – and a man who appreciated the beauty of nature and my Mum’s lovely face – to be afflicted with dementia, and to loose his eyesight. And of course at times Dad was discouraged or distressed. But even with all the illness and suffering he went through during these last years in the hospital and the nursing home, he still stayed positive and good humored most of the time, and indeed, even grateful. For even when he was very sick again in the hospital with pneumonia in January 2010, and it was difficult for him to speak, he would say to us how fortunate he is to have a loving family, and that he wasn’t bored in the nursing home because he had Andre Rieu, or the Irish Tenors, and more recently his favorite singer, Susan Boyle, to listen to. And when the dementia became worse and it was hard to communicate, he still remembered the most important words, telling us ‘God love you’ , ‘God bless you’ , and that he loves us. And whenever I spoke to him about Bobbi, our African Grey Parrot that he loves dearly, it always brought a smile to his face. I feel that a really strong man is one who is not afraid to show tears sometimes, and Dad was such a man – at least in these later years anyway. I remember when I gave him the rosary made in Ireland of Connemara marble, and told him I had gotten it blessed by then Archbishop Timothy Dolan of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, tears filled his eyes. And I remember times when he, Mum, and I were watching Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman on PBS, and we were moved to tears, sometimes tears of joy, by their magnificent voices and moving songs, especially when Dad saw that Andrea is blind and this was at a time when Dad was loosing his own eyesight. [Dad especially loved and commented on in his writings ‘Love Changes Everything’ sung by Sarah Brightman. He also liked ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ from Evita, and ‘The Music of the Night’ from Phantom of the Opera. Years ago he had even thought he may want these two played at his funeral.] Indeed, Dad really enjoys and appreciates good music. I found a piece he wrote in 1999 where he stated how certain music or song can be a catalyst to activate our deepest feelings and innermost thoughts which we hardly ever express, and that it would be good if we could take the time to express these more often, putting them on paper. In fact Dad did some creative writing, including a very helpful sales booklet – ‘PAIDAI’ , and ‘Audrey’s Story’ , covering the period when he and Mum met at a Valentine’s Day dance in England to when she arrived in America. And I recently found in his files that a few years ago he was in the process of writing his own story ‘Growing up in Framingham – 1923 to 1943’ . I see that he had a happy childhood growing up on his beloved Beaver Street. So thank you so much Dad for all your love, caring, and concern. Thank you for your hard work and dedication over the many years, getting up early each morning for the long commute to work, to provide for us your family. Thank you for your many prayers – how you would stand in front of our big family portrait on the wall and pray for each one of us at night before going to bed. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. Thank you for piggy-back rides, and helping me with my homework and science projects. Well, gee you didn’t just help me with science projects, I think you practically did them for me! That model of Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone that you built for me was great. Thank you and Mum for fun times and laughter, for warm and loving holiday celebrations, for family vacations in beautiful England and Italy and at the Cape and Disney World, for the fun of dancing with you at weddings, and listening to the New Year’s Day concert each year from Vienna – how you loved the ‘Blue Danube Waltz’ and especially the ‘Radetzky March’ . Thank you for your good ideas and projects you wanted to do, even though due to procrastination you didn’t always complete them. I think my father and I are the President and Vice President respectively of the Procrastinator’s Society! One idea of yours I especially love is the – Own a Bit of ‘The Old Sod’ , – a miniature Irish thatched cottage with a tiny fenced in garden in front with genuine Irish soil and a shamrock growing. I have seen something similar since then but without the cottage, and I believe you had the idea first Dad. Thank you for really appreciating my poetry and spiritual writings. Thank you for loving Mum with all your heart, and for being such an anglophile of things English. Thank you for your courage, for being strong for us, even when you were going through so much. Thank you for your sense of humor and positive nature, for your guidance, your wisdom, loyalty, and support. And thank you for your comforting words ‘Good night, God bless’ which you often pronounced like – Good night, Go Bless (as if saying go and bless others, I love that!) Thank you Dad for these and so much more. Thank you for being my Dad, our Dad, Papa, and Mum’s beloved husband. We miss you and we love you very much. And God loves you. And you are still with us Dad, just in another place – upon that beautiful, heavenly shore – where you are re-united with your Ma and Pa, your sister Betty, your brothers, Tom, Mike, and John, nephews Michael and Tommy, and your long time good friend Charlie Alexander. And Dad I know that now your mind is clear again, and you can walk again with ease, and dance again (maybe you and Uncle Mike are doing an Irish jig up there in heaven!). And yes my dear Dad – now you can see again ‘¦ and you can see the precious, radiant face of Jesus. Where there is love, we are never parted. We all love you Dad, always and forever. Good Night, Go Bless!

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Memories Timeline


  1. To my dearest Dad,Thank you for being my wonderful father. You were-are such a good, loving, kind, compassionate, positive, and courageous man. You were a blessing and inspiration to the world and to all your family. Thank you for all your love, caring, guidance and support. We miss you and love you so much. God bless you dad, and rest in peace and love.from Amara

  2. To my dearest Dad,Thank you for being my wonderful father. You were-are such a good, loving, kind, compassionate, positive, and courageous man. You were a blessing and inspiration to the world and to all your family. Thank you for all your love, caring, guidance and support. We miss you and love you so much. God bless you dad, and rest in peace and love.

  3. Dear Amara and Family, My condolences for your Father’s passing. I m sure your prayers of love are guiding him home. Peace to you and your Family – Cynthia Hargraves

  4. Dear Amara: May your dear dad rest in peace, with angels hovering all around. Hugs and loveΓÖÑ~ΓÖÑ to you and your family~ΓÖÑSchubert – Ave Maria (Opera)

  5. My condolences for your loss, Dear Amara. I miss my Father every day, but I have grown to learn that he never really left in the most important way. Be prepared for the miracles that your Father can now provide for you outside the restraints of the human form.

  6. My condolences, Amara. It is hard to lose a parent, even when we know it is time. You helped him make a peaceful transition. Blessings and Love.

  7. Hello Amara — I think it was truly a blessing that your entire family was by your father’s side as he made his transition out of this world. It was nice to read your loving tribute to him. May this be a time when you can celebrate his memory and all the love you shared together. My love and prayers go out to you and your family. Love and peace, James

  8. My Dear Amara,I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It was a beautiful transition. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.Love and Peace,Helen

  9. amara,while i know that we from our human experience feel an emptiness at the loss of anyone so important in our lives, i also know as do you, that his consciousness is still a living inspiration to you and your family. and, i am sure that it will continue to be. and, with the benefit of your dad’s love to you, we in the community also benefit. thank you.

  10. Dad thank you for your love, kindness and support. Thank you for being a truly wonderful dad. Although you suffered greatly over the last few years I feel fortunate to have spent good times with you on our visits to the nursing home and especially fortunate to be with you during your last days at the hospice. You favorite words to us was always ‘God bless you’– god bless you dad- I miss you.

  11. Papa,Thank you so much for being such a wonderful Papa my whole life! We all miss you so much, but know that you are in a much better place now, watching over us all. You have inspired me in so many ways, to be the best person I can be. We love you so much. Rest in peace Papa.Love,Julia and Matt

  12. Dear Papa, You truly were a great grandfather,father,husband,friend,and most of all strong man. I know you are in a better place now and will continue to watch over our family. I used to love when my parents would go away when we were younger and we got to stay over your house. You and Nana would always have the best things planned for us to do.Seeing you and your smile was always such a pleasure and you will always be forever loved and missed! I LOVE YOU!!!! XOXOLaura

  13. Dear Papa, You truly were a great grandfather,father,husband,friend,and most of all strong man. I know you are in a better place now and will continue to watch over our family. I used to love when my parents would go away when we were younger and we got to stay over your house. You and Nana would always have the best things planned for us to do.Seeing you and your smile was always such a pleasure and you will always be forever loved and missed! I LOVE YOU!!!! XOXOLaura

  14. Dad, I’m going to miss you. When my own dad passed away I always looked up to you as my dad. You were always there for advice or help and for taking care of Matthew. Rest in peace and if you can take care of Molly and Emmett. Love you so much!

  15. Dear Dad,You were the best father-in-law a daughter-in-law could ever want. You gave your unconditional love and respect to me, to Jim, to your granddaughters. You will always be in my heart.

  16. To Uncle Jim,You were a true gentleman with a kind and compassionate heart. We will miss you,but we know you are now at peace. Love to you and your family.

  17. Papa, We miss you very, very much though we know you are now in a better place. You were a wonderful grandfather and I’ll cherish the memories of spending time with you and Nana when my sisters and I were young and being together as we grew up. We love you very much. Rest in peace. Love, Elissa and Chris

  18. I just wanted to share this beautiful message from Grace Al-Isha – ‘My prayers are with him for a graceful and peaceful transition. May angels of healing and transition surround him and hold him in a loving cocoon for a safe passage. Feel embraced by my wings of love dear Amara. Whether you get there in time or not, all is in divine order. He will feel your presence and loving embrace no matter. ~ ΓÖÑ ~’

  19. I just wanted to share this beautiful message from my friend Nancy Sageman – ‘Tears streaming down my face. thanks for sharing this. We are one. I am loving you & your family. here’s to a beautiful transition to the other side for our brother, James Patrick’

  20. I would like to take this momemt to honor and pay my repects to the Ward Family, espeacially to his belloved daughter Amara, how loved you so. May your memories and love sustain you in this time or grief. Blessing.

  21. More sympathy is with you nowThan words alone can tell…For those who share your friendshipShare your recent loss as well. ‘ Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morningΓÇÖs hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft star-shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.’~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

  22. Amara, you and your family are in my prayers. I am so glad it was a peaceful passing and that you were all together for him and yourselves. Love and peace to you all, Donald

  23. Dear Amara my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of your loss. May God be with you and your family.

  24. Kindest Amara, Sending my love to you and your family. You are truly blessed to have been loved, supported and held by your father, and may your father always remind of these blessings… Some of us are given the rare opportunity to spend many years with our father, some are able to see their father as a friend… Your father is truly a gift and blessing to you in all-ways, just as I see you as a gift and blessing to all of us.All my love, Maria

  25. Dear Mr. Ward, Your warmth and laughter will well be remembered. The angels are singing as they welcome you home. With our love and respect, the Rock family

  26. God bless Uncle Jim.I have some treasured memories of the times I spent with you while you were all living in England,& we were especially happy that we spent some time with you when we visited New York in April.You were a true gentleman, very much loved & will never be forgotten.

  27. Dear Jim, You were a wonderful person who we loved dearly. We will miss you very much. Heaven now has its ‘newest’ Angel. God Bless you Jim.We love you, Cindy and Christina

  28. Dear Dad, I love you and I miss you. You were the best man I’ve ever known. Thank you for all your caring, love and guidance through all the years. You always set the best example of how to be a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. We will never forget your kindness and humor. I feel very lucky to have had you in my life for such a long time. Now you are with our loved ones who have gone on before. I will miss you until we meet again.

  29. Beloved Amara, I received the most beautiful letter of your father’s passing, (as it was forwarded to me by Kathy Cokkinos). My heart goes out to you and your family. May your dearest father be resting in peace, with all manner of love surrounding him and within him. May you all be blessed for being part of his divine support as he made his transition. Love & God Speed, Vibhuti

  30. My deepest condolences, Amara. You clearly all gave your father as perfect a transition as he could have asked for, and what a blessing and privilege for each of you to have been an integral part of that sacred experience. Much healing and love to you all.Rich.

  31. Dearest Amara and family, My heartfelt condolences for the passing of your beloved dad. He was blessed to have you and your mom at his side with the angels enfolding him in their wings. Now he is HOME, in his body of light, but will always be also with you. All my love and blessings.Amaliah

  32. Hello Amara, I remember your father as a solid, strong person I had the privilege to meet.I am very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolence.love, Gianni

  33. Dad, I also want to add to my previous message, that I thank you so much for believing in me, and for truly appreciating my poetry, other writings, and spiritual work. I appreciate your wonderful writings and work also, and of course so much more. Your loyalty and faith in me means everything to me, as well as your kindness. There is just not enough loyalty or kindness in this world, but you showed it Dad.I am sorry that you suffered too much in the last few years, both in the hospital and nursing home, and even prior to that. You certainly did not deserve this. But I have a strong feeling that with having the dementia you were working in the higher realms with what you needed to do for your continued spiritual growth. And you were so wonderful that even with all you were going through, you still stayed positive for the most part, and grateful for your loving family. It must have been especially difficult not to have been able to speak to us during the last few days and even some weeks, but we know what was in your heart, and what you would have said if you could.Mum and I were so grateful and blessed that our prayers were answered and we were with you at your side as you passed, and peacefully so, and also blessed and honored that we were able to assist in your transition to the light and to beloved Jesus.God loves you Dad, and we love you. Good night, go bless! from Amara (Patty)

  34. I just wanted to share this beautiful message that Athena had said previously …’May the Divine Spirit be with your Dad for the most Grace filled, peaceful and blessed Home coming and with you and your family for Divine comforting and ease of adjustment as you come to terms with this transition. Deepest love surrounds you and sustains you beloved sister. We are with you and you are both (all) being embraced by the Angels and all is well. xoxoxox’

  35. David had left a beautiful heart felt message couple of weeks ago expressing his condolences to all of us, and said having lost both his parents his heart goes out to my Dad. And he remembers when he had met Dad and all of us one Christmas and how comfortable he felt and the wonderful impression Dad had made on him, and what an all around good guy he was. He liked all of us. And he knows Dad is with me and all of us. Also that the way we were all with Dad at the end, he is sure Dad felt that. And that I am really blessed in my life to have such an awesome family and special Dad, and draw strength from the knowledge of what we had and continue to have.

  36. September 18. Most dearest Amara,I was sad to hear of the passing of your father. So very lovely to read your comments… and to know the love you shared with him. Precious are those with whom love creates its bonds. Please accept my condolences.Love and light, Roger Joyeux

  37. September 10. Irael had expressed her condolences, and that she is sorry for our loss. And Amara, your Dad’s in a better place. He is still there for you in many ways except in physical form. Once your grief subsides you’ll find he still provides you with inspiration, muse, information and love in many mneumonic ways. He is part of who you are in this lifetime. I must say he raised a beautiful caring being.

  38. Dear Ward Family Members and Friends,My heartfelt condolences go out to you for the loss of your beloved James. May you find great comfort in each other and heartfelt joy in all of your blessed memories of him. May his soul rest in peace, and his spirit be rising in joy and light.Sincerely, Sid Whitkin

  39. To my beloved husband Jim,I love you so much and am missing you terribly. Thank you for all our wonderful years together, and for all your love. I love you with all my heart and I think of you all the time. God bless you Jim.Audrey

  40. Hi Papa, I love you and I have missed you so much. I liked so much whistling back and forth with you – and saying ‘Bobbi whistle, Papa whistle’, and many other words you have taught me to say, including ‘Ward, James Ward’ (I heard you say when you were on the telephone), and ‘Are you alright love?’ (that you would say to Nana). And I miss when Nana would bring me to give you a kiss on your cheek each day. And I also loved at bedtime, when Nana would rub my head, as she still does, and you Papa would tell me a bedtime story about what we would do the next day. Now Nana and Mummy Amara tell me the prayer each night before I go to sleepy. They told it to you too many times and it always made you smile, about how everyone loves me, including you Papa, Nana, and Amara, and Jesus, Mary, and St. Francis, and they always end it by saying ‘And Papa says, God bless you, and Good night, Go bless!’ Amara loves that and so do I. Now Papa you are in Heaven with all our Ward family dear bird and animal companions, including Skippy, Lassie, Chelsea, Muffin, the Joeys, Mr. & Mrs. Chippy, Misha, Molly, Emmett, Emma, Mush, and all the other Ward birdies and animals too many to name here, but all loved. Thank you dear Papa, and Nana and Amara, for all your love and care. ‘Doo doo do do doooh’ (the PC Richards whistle). from Bobbi, your parrot. xxx

  41. Dick and Eileen Agostini and their girls (in a condolence card with this beautiful letter written on September 30, 2012) says:

    Eileen wrote (and said I could post it on the website when I spoke to her) – Dear Amara, We were so sorry when we learned of your Dad’s passing. You all must feel such a sense of loss. He was a special presence in everyone’s life. We all hope to have a life well-lived – your father had just that.Dick has always looked up to him as the epitome of a caring person and a gentleman. We recently looked through our 40th Wedding Anniversary Memory Book that the girls put together for us, and re-read the beautiful note that Jim was determined to write himself although his sight was failing. He recalled dancing the handkerchief dance with Dick at Susan’s wedding and wrote ‘My feet simply had to get on the floor with Dick.’ It meant so much to us to have him at our Anniversary Party. I remember dancing a spirited Irish Jig with him at a wedding once. He shared a special life with a beautiful wife and raised a lovely and talented family. Everyone he met loved him. What a wonderful legacy to leave. We hope that happy memories are with you every day. How lucky you were to have him as a father and a friend. Much love and good wishes, Dick, Eileen and GirlsP.S. We treasure the video that you created for your Mum and Dad a few years ago. It was such a beautiful tribute to them and their lives together. We also were very touched to read the notes of caring and love written by friends and family on the funeral home website.

  42. Carolyn Alexander (Charlie Alexander's widow) a beautiful letter in a condolence card written in October 2012 says:

    Dear Audrey and Amara, (and family) I was so very saddened to learn of Jim’s death. I know how very hard it is to watch a very much loved father and husband suffer and then try to reconcile one’s self to realize that you will not see that wonderful smile and hear his voice again. He was a wonderful and giving man, and your life is changed forever. I know that God will bring you comfort in knowing that he is safe now in His loving arms.For so many years Jim was a part of Charles’ and my memories. I met you both as, infant and war bride in 1947, but Charles knew Jim and laughed with him for years before that. The two of them were the class officers in 1941 and it was a time Charles never forgot. Together they made sure no one else ever forgot either, and that friendship was strong as long as they lived and a joy to both of them. Over the years, talking to Jim and sharing family stories was a delight. My prayers are with each of you, and your grief will lessen. Love, Carolyn

  43. In a Sympathy card of September 14, 2012, they wrote ‘So sorry to hear the sad news. Uncle Jim was a lovely man and we will all miss him. Please take care of yourselves. All our love and best wishes always’

  44. In a Sympathy card of September 20, 2012 – ‘Uncle Jim was such a wonderful sweet man, you couldn’t help but love him. I remember how he got such a kick out of my children and my dog. We all love him. Please take care of yourself. If you ever need to talk, I’m here. Love you all, Chrissy’

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