John Wesley Ward, Jr., age 73, of Devine passed away Monday, September 23, 2019 in Hondo from complications of pancreatic cancer.
John is predeceased by his parents, Gene Lackey Ward and John Wesley Ward, Sr. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Dorothy, son Wes and wife Jonl, son Joe and wife Jenni, grandchildren Leta and Devon, sister Betty, Dorothy’s brothers and sisters, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. All were precious to him and a great joy. He had so many cherished friendships—Pflugerville friends, wonderful co-workers at IBM, and the many, many friends in Devine—some of whom have been his buddies since grade school.
John’s faith in God began as a boy at Devine First Baptist Church. His strong work ethic in school, while at IBM Austin, or as a cattleman back home in Devine, was evident to all.
John was a man who dedicated his life to leadership, service and family. He was born in San Antonio, Texas on October 9, 1945. He attended Devine schools from 1st grade to his graduation, where he was valedictorian of the DHS Class of 1964. John graduated from UT-Austin School of Engineering, cum laude, in 1969 then received his Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1974. He served in the US Army National Guard 1971 to 1975. He worked at IBM his entire engineering career, before returning to Devine at retirement to be a rancher.
He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy, on September 9, 1967. They graduated from UT-Austin on the same day in 1969. They moved to Pflugerville where Dorothy taught public school and John worked at IBM Austin. Their sons were born in 1975 and 1978. After John retired in 1995, they moved back home to Devine. John enjoyed ranching, hunting, time with family, and traveling.
John had a strong sense of civic duty. He served on the DISD school board from 2000-2006. For several years he volunteered to teach a lesson in senior economics class on the importance of saving money and the concept of compound interest (rule of 72). He was so proud when a young person would come back years later to say that he/she was using those lessons and saving money.
He served as a board member of the Devine Evergreen Cemetery Association, where he championed many projects. He was instrumental in setting up the digitation of cemetery records and maps.
He was one of the founders of Devine Dollars for Scholars, a scholarship program that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Devine High School graduates.
Should you wish to donate to a cause in his name, these causes were near to John’s heart.
Dollars for Scholars, 2330 Hwy. 173 N, Devine, TX 78016
Devine Evergreen Cemetery Association, P. O. Box 452, Devine, TX 78016