July 23,1920 – April 28, 2016
Al Ward passed away peacefully at the Evergreen Seniors Home in Campbell River, BC on April 28, 2016 with family and friends at his bedside. He was 96 years old and had lived life to the fullest. Al has been described as a “handsome, charming, debonair man with a winning smile and a twinkle in his eye”. He was a well-respected senior manager throughout his career whose philosophy was to be “firm but fair”, was sought after for his wise counsel and was a life-long learner. He was an avid golfer into his 90’s and a long-time member of the Royal Colwood Golf Club in Victoria and enjoyed a bracing walk outdoors daily. He was predeceased by his wife Ollie; his sons Richard Thomas and Robert Gordon; two of his brothers, Leslie and Robert Ward; sisters-in-law Joan and Elsie Ward and Marie Smith; brothers-in-law Irvin “Ike” Eisenhauer, Don Kerr and Charles Lawrence; and niece Judith Carter. Al is survived by his daughter-in-law Elda, grandchildren Alix and Jesse and great grandchild Lily Ward; his siblings and their spouses, Stanley and Millie Ward, Olive Eisenhauer, Gladys Kerr, Marjorie and Bert Smeeth; Violet Lawrence, Sidney Ward, and Don and Sybil Ward, and many nieces and nephews and their families.
In 1920, Al, the eldest of ten children, was born to Florence and Sidney Ward of Fort Frances, Ontario. Al enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in June 1940 and was posted overseas the following year. During World War II, he served as an Air Crew Wireless Operator with Squadrons 108 and 160 in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations while based in Egypt. During rest periods, he was engaged in Air Crew Wireless Training at Worcester, UK, Penfield Ridge, NB and Boundary Bay, BC, Canada. Al volunteered for a second tour of duty and was posted to Squadron 428 of the RCAF in England, for Operations in the European Theatre until the end of the war.
Al married his soul mate, the love of his life, Ollie Icton, whom he always lovingly referred to as “my friend.” They were together for over 70 years before her death in 2010. Al’s career with Air Canada spanned 39 years during which time he represented his Company in a number of Canadian and UK cities. They spent seven years living in Glasgow, Scotland, where Al held the position of Head of Air Canada Operations for Scotland, Northern Ireland, Northern England and Wales. In 1981, Al and Ollie moved to Victoria, BC, their home for over 30 years. In 2014, Al moved to Campbell River to be closer to Elda and family.
Al was well-loved by all his family members and will be missed, but welcomed by his loved ones on the other side. To honour his wishes, Al is being cremated and his ashes will be returned to his home town of Fort Frances, Ontario, for internment, where a small private family ceremony will be held at gravesite later on in the summer.