It is with great sadness and much love that we say goodbye to our dear dad, beloved grandfather and loyal friend. Donald Arthur Ward, 80, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, passed in peace on April 15th, 2019, after many years of battling challenging health issues. Donald was born on March 16, 1939, in Gentry, Arkansas, to Fred Ronald Ward and Irene Sitton Ward. He was the second child of four. Donald graduated from Gentry High School in 1957. While in high school he owned a Ducati Motorcycle that fueled his love of cars and motorcycles culminating with him attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally late in life. He attended the University of Arkansas securing both a Bachelor's degree and a Master's Degree in Agriculture. While at the University of Arkansas he joined Farmhouse Fraternity, served as their Treasurer, and he made many lifelong friends. After completing his Master's degree, Donald served in Army active duty for six months and in the reserves for five and a half years. He married Judith Councill on June 15, 1963. Upon leaving the military, Donald held progressively responsible positions with the Texas Extension Service, Borden Milk Company and Merck Pharmaceuticals. In 1973, he took a big risk and accepted an opportunity to return to his childhood home and go into business with his brother. Ward Brothers Water Systems became a successful business that served individuals, corporate clients and major municipalities across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. They installed complete septic and pump systems, underground utilities, and drilled wells. Major clients included Tyson Foods, Cobb-Vantress, Simmons, and Georges. Inclement weather and winter storms inevitably negatively impacted poultry farms and Ward Brothers got the call day or night to restore mission critical life-saving systems. Northwest Arkansas was a great place to raise his two daughters, Susan Ward Rauhoff, and Sara Ward Sheehan. The family were members of First United Methodist Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Donald served as class president of his Sunday school class for many years. Donald never met a stranger and he built many enduring friendships. Survivors include his daughters: Susan Ward Rauhoff, her husband Lance and their children Will and Charlie of Phoenix, Arizona, and Sara Ward Sheehan, and her husband Jeff of Dallas, Texas. He is survived by two sisters and their families, Sharon Ward Bell of Columbia, Tennessee, and Mary Ward Montemat of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Donald was preceded in death by his brother, Ronald Fred Ward, his mother, Irene Sitton Ward, his father, Fred Ronald Ward. Memorial services will be held on Friday, April 19th at 2 p.m. at the Wassan Funeral Home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, followed by interment at Fairmount Cemetery, Gentry, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in loving memory of Donald Ward to the Farmhouse Fraternity Foundation designating the Arkansas chapter. To make a donation, visit www.farmhouse.org/foundation or by mail at 7306 NW Tiffany Springs Parkway, Suite 310, Kansas City, Missouri, 64153.
Published April 17, 2019