Charles Finch Ward was born to Charles Edward Ward and Martha Ellen (Gardner) Ward on November 8, 1940 close to Collins, Missouri (near Raney). After completing the 8th grade he went to work on a wheat harvest crew. He was drafted in the Army in October of 1963. While in the Army he attained his GED at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was on the very first ship that delivered troops to Vietnam. He attained the rank of Sgt while there.
He was very proud of his heritage. The Gardner side of his family were among the first settlers in St. Clair County. They arrived here in 1839, homesteaded and never left. They are and were good upstanding people and Charlie obtained a lot of their genes as many can attest. Charlie was born at his mother’s brother, Paul Gardner’s home. His cousin Luella Maloy’s parents. I overheard Luella say, “aunt Ellen was there when I left for school and she had a baby boy when I got home.”
Charlie was a soft-spoken gentleman with strong ethics and had no qualms about helping anyone who needed a helping hand or down on their luck.
He was a truck driver for over 40 years and as with everything, dedicated. He was a very hard worker and never complained about anything. Even when he was ill if you ask him how he was his response would be “I’m fin, just fine”. Everyone liked, if not loved Charlie, but there was nothing to dislike. He had such a fabulous sense of humor.
He leaves his fiancé, Erlene Nall. They were very lucky to have found each other. They enjoyed each other’s companionship for several years and were devoted to one another.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife June (Liz) and his second wife Sharon; daughter Linda Howard; half brothers and sister, James Ward, Howard E. Dosier, Clara McCoy, Mollie Mae Famuliner; brothers Walter Ward, Curtis Ward and William (Bill) Ward along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
He is survived by his sons Rick (Karen) of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Michael of Olathe, Kansas; cousin, Lula Maloy along with many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.