Richard (or as everyone called him, Dick) was born on March 7, 1920 in Montgomery County to Homer Bratton and Myrtle Everson Ward. He farmed for more than 70 years in Montgomery County.
He worked countless hours in the field of agriculture believing that everyone should have a passion for lifelong learning. His hard work and happiness shown through in so many ways with his knowledge of building a large working farm with his grandfather, father and son, restoring tractors and growing roses. He was an extraordinary individual with his energy, enthusiasm and zeal for education.
His many passions included the love of his family, church, library and his beloved Purdue University. He was a 1943 graduate of Purdue University in agricultural economics. He was the founding chariman of the Purdue University Ag Alumni Trust Fund and served as its president since 1972 until recently when he was named an emeritus board member.
He also served on the Linden Library Board, and as a trustee for the Linden United Methodist Church. He received the Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer of the Year award in 1971, and the Purdue Ag Alumni Association Citizenship Award in 2004.
He also served his country in the Navy during World War II aboad a minesweeper as an ensign.
Richard is survived by his wife, Jeanne; his daughter and son-in-law Nancy (Bill) Reece of Franklin, Tenn.; his son and daughter-in-law Rick (Jan) Ward of Crawfordsville; his sister Mary Isabel Wilkins of Linden; his four grandchildren, Reid Hudson, Erin (Jared) Kritenbrink, Todd (Dawn) Reece and Tricia (Jim) Calkins; and four great-grandchildren, Brecken Eugene Kritenbrink, Tyler Reece, Ashley Reece and Fred Learey.
He was preceded in death by his infant sister, Helen Louise Ward.
He was a man of faith and his family will honor him by holding a calling at the Linden United Methodist Church Tuesday, April 24 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. at the Linden United Methodist Church.
Donations may be made to the Purdue Foundation Scholarship Fund for the Richard H. Ward Memorial, c/o Purdue University, 715 West State St., Room 107, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
Hahn-Groeber Funeral & Cremation Services, Linden, is caring for the family.
Memories and condolences may be left at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com.