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John L. Ward

September 25, 1927 December 2, 2020
John L. Ward
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Obituary for John L. Ward

John L. Ward Jr. “Jack” of Birmingham died December 2, 2020. He was 93 years old. Jack was born September 25, 1927 in Detroit to Margarie (nee DeTamble) and John Ward.

A graduate of Gesu Elementary School and the Missouri Military Academy, at 18, Jack enlisted in the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, specializing in parachute assault operation into denied areas. He was stationed in Japan with the Army of Occupation until 1948. Jack was also a golden glove boxer with the Army.

Upon his return to Detroit he enrolled at Michigan State University and pursued an engineering degree, also he was a member of the MSU football team. Afterwards, he met his future wife, Joyce McElory (Detroit), married quickly and moved to Birmingham. They raised 6 children and both became active in the community and parish. Jack was a devoted catholic and a pillar of Holy Name Parish. He served as an usher for over 25 years and Jack and Joyce were ministers of the Eucharist. Jack and Joyce were very involved with Meals on Wheels and prayed with the sick at Beaumont Hospital during their retirement years.

Jack volunteered as a little league baseball coach for his 4 sons and his youngest daughter’s softball team. Sports were very important to him and he never missed his children’s sporting events.

Jack was a Birmingham Developer, designing and building small municipalities in south east Michigan. He eventually expanded into custom homes before his retirement.

Jack was an avid tennis player, swimmer, passionate reader of biographies and cinema. A cherished family tradition was a trip to 31 Flavors for our coveted milkshake. Jack loved his chocolate milkshakes with his children before the big game on Sunday.

A wonderful son, husband, father and grandfather, Jack is finally reunited with his wife and his three children and for that we are grateful.

Jack is survived by his children, Mark (Robin) Ward, Patty (Bruce) Becker, and David Ward and grandchildren, Markus, Donovan, Fulton, Eleanor, Cecily, Connor, and Michele. He is also survived by his sister, Maryjane Moran. Jack is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Joyce, children, Michele, John L. “Jackie”, and Matthew, and sister Patricia Welch.

Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Sunday, December 6th, 12 noon – 2pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon Street, Birmingham, Monday, December 7th at 10am. Seating is limited. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Birmingham.

Memorials appreciated to Feeding America, P.O. Box 96749, Washington, D.C. 20090-6749.

Please use the link below to view a video slideshow created by his children:


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