Richard Eugene Ward, Jr.
Richard Eugene Ward, Jr. was born January 17, 1949, in Wray, Colorado to Richard Eugene Ward and Marjorie Ruth Roberts Ward. He passed away in Temple on July 6, 2019.
Rich grew up in the Denver area. His parents ran a turkey farm and later his father worked for the State of Colorado. Rich was active in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed spending time hunting with his paternal grandfather Archie Ward.
Rich graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver and earned a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Boulder University. At the Western State College of Colorado, he studied gunsmithing, a passion that would continue all his life.
He earned his Juris Doctrine degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1974 and passed the bar in Colorado in 1975 and then in Texas in 1978.
He enlisted in the United States Army from 1975 to 1978.
Looking at his orders to go to Fort Hood, he recalled asking himself “Where is Killeen, Texas?” He would later make his home twenty miles from there, in Belton, for the rest of his life.
Rich also took an Airborne Course in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1975, forming friendships that would last the rest of his life. After completing active duty, he continued his military career in the U.S. Army Reserves in the Judge Advocate General’s Division, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Continuing his legal career, he worked for several small law partnerships outside Dallas before coming to work for the Bell County Attorney’s Office in 1985. He would continue working there for 34 years, never retiring.
He was honored with many awards during this time, not only from within his own office, but also the Liberty Bell Award in 2002; an appreciation from the Children of Bell County in 2006; the Public Sector Award from the Bell County Bar Association in 2014; an appreciation award from Foster Love Bell County as well as other awards.
Rich enjoyed bicycling, stating once his Schwinn Paramount was an ideal vehicle since he could perform all the maintenance himself and it required little fuel. He frequently commuted about 1.2 miles to the office via bicycle. He bicycled all around the United States, and in Texas preferred small communities and out-of-the-way backroads. Without his bicycle, he also ran marathons.
Rich continued gunsmithing and maintained a collection of hunting rifles. He also enjoyed building and maintaining computers. He pursued his career and interests deeply, learning their small details with a fervent curiosity. Yet he also lived a simple life, disregarding most possessions except the ones he needed to get by with, which further focused and deepened his experiences.
Rich was an active member of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Cameron.
He was a friend to many, and touched lives wherever he went, whether he knew the person for minutes, hours, or decades. He was known for his friendly, gentle demeanor, dry sense of humor, a deep sense of private dignity, and generosity. He helped support and provide for his friends and family.
Rich received a diagnosis of melanoma in 2012, the same illness that took is father in 1972. Average melanoma survival rates are six to ten months. Only ten percent of those with the disease have a five-year survival rate. Rich battled the cancer for seven years.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sister, Ann Seggerman and her husband Jesse Chacun of Phoenix; nephew Chris Seggerman his wife Krista Long, of Goodyear, and his grand-nephews Samuel Seggerman and Theodore Seggerman, also of Goodyear.
A memorial service is scheduled for July 20 in Cameron at 10:00 AM; private interment to follow in North Belton Cemetery