A memorial service and interment will be held September 1, 2018 in Rochester, MI for Jack Ward, formerly of Coal-gate. A pending memorial will be held at the Wards Family Cemetery in Cairo at a later date.
Jack was the oldest of 13 children born to Jack and Mae Ward. He was born August 31, 1924 and passed away August 23, 2018 at the age of 93 years, 11 months and 23 days. He attended Cairo school through the 8th grade and then attended Coalgate High School his 9th through12th grades and graduated in 1943. Jack played basketball and football all 4 years of high school. He had to hitchhack seven miles to and from school every day in order to participate in sports. He was quartertback his junior and senior years and was voted captain. After graduation he went to Michigan to visit relatives and decided to stay and work there for a year. He was offered a football and basketball coaching position at Log Cabin High School in Michigan and in 1944 he coached the football feated season since the school started their football program in 1907. In 1945 Jack returned to Oklahoma and enrolled at East Central College in Ada where he tried out for the football team and was selected as first string quarterback. He continued to participate in sports into his 70’s as a pitcher for a 70+ league in the 1990’s. Jack Ward was one of the first Inductees into the Coal-gate Sports Hall of Fame and was featured in the Coalgate Record Register in the April 9, 2014 issue. He spent most of his adult life living in Michigan and owning and operating a metal finishing business. In 2000 he and his wife moved to Texas and at the age of 78 he got a job with the Frisco Independent School District maintenance department and worked full -time until 2015 when he retired at the age of 90. In 2017 Jack and his wife moved back to Michigan.
Survivors include his wife, Elenore Joyce Ward of Rochester, Michigan; children, Jacquelyn Ward Gibson and husband Sam of Pottsboro, TX and Susan Moorehouse and husband Rochester, MI; grandchildren, Radley Chase of Sherman, TX, Sarah Moorehouse Wasmund and husband, Ryan of Oxford, MI, Audrey Gibson of Alexandria, VA, Adam Moorehouse of Chicago, IL, Evan Moorehouse of Rochester, MI, and Ryan Gibson and wife Allison of Carrollton, TX; great-grandchildren, Juleah Chase, Emma Wasmund and Charlotte Wasmund; siblings, Bill Ward, Betty Wilson, Doug Ward and Melva Thomas all of Coalgate, OK, Maxine Pulliam of Bristow, OK, Bobbie Girod of Glen-pool, OK, Jim Ward of Kiowa, OK, and Vernon Ward of Fittstown, OK.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Mae Ward; brothers, J. C. Ward, Burney Ward and Don Ward; and sister, Mary Cravens.