James S. Ward passed from this life Thursday, February 2, 2023, at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 91 years old.
James was born on July 23, 1931, in Coweta to Edgar and Hazel Ward. James grew up in the Coweta area and graduated from Coweta High School in 1949. He then joined the Air Force in 1951 and served his country as a cryptographer stationed primarily in far northern Japan on the island of the Hokkaido. In 1954, after returning to Tulsa from Japan, he met Lois Durant, the love of his life (and, as James might've joked, "my first wife"), who he married in 1955. They were married for an amazing 67 years. Lois survives him in death.
After the Air Force James attended the University of Tulsa and also worked at First National Bank & Trust Co. before starting his own home building business in 1970. This was to be his career for the rest of his life, and it introduced him to many of his closest friends and acquaintances. It also means that, as his legacy, James leaves many homes and other buildings around Tulsa, as well as many precious memories for his grandchildren, who he often brought with him to jobsites and building supplies stores.
Aside from his work as a builder, James enjoyed fishing, golf, and several other pastimes, the joy of which he imparted, shared, and passed on to the members of his large and loving family. He enjoyed traveling all over the United States with his family, and you could always find him on the road-never on a plane-either in a van or a station wagon. As part of these trips, he had a special joy and love for interacting with people, and you could be sure that he'd be prepared with a new joke (there are too many to name) or a new prank (like the time he impersonated a panhandler in San Francisco or the many trips to Fair Meadows with his grandkids, where he convinced them that the prize for picking the winning horse was the horse itself), and that he'd haggle for a discount to the listed price, sometimes to the chagrin of his wife and kids but always to the amusement of his grandkids.
James was preceded in death by his parents and two of his siblings, Bea and Marven.
He is survived by his wife, Lois, two siblings, Joan and Mary Sue, his three children, Rhonda, Susan, and Jim, as well as five grandchildren, Chase, Vincent, Dallas, Spencer, and Lacy, and four great grandchildren, Maddox, Jett, Stellan, and Emersyn.
We anticipate the day we will see him again!
The service will begin at 11:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2023, at Rivercrest Chapel, 13329 S Memorial Dr., Bixby, OK 74008.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Salvation Army or charity of choice.
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