O’Rourke & O’Rourke
Inc. Funeral Home

25 River Street
Salamanca, NY 14779
phone: (716) 945-4760
fax: (716) 945-4222

Joseph F. Ward

Joseph F. Ward Great Valley Town Official and Charter Member of Great Valley Vol. Fire Co.

Great Valley, New York.

Joseph F. Ward, age 87, of Burleson Rd. Great Valley, NY died on November 15, 2009 at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York following a short illness.

Mr. Ward was born August 15, 1922 at the Old Fish’s Hardware Store in Great Valley, New York son of the late John and Martha Enright Ward. He was married in St. Patrick’s Church Salamanca on October 11, 1952 to the former Virginia M. Pennell who survives.

He attended the Great Valley School and graduated from Ellicottville High School class of 1940. He was a graduate of Cornell University earning a degree in Agriculture in 1942, and a 1949 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelors in Science.

He was a Veteran of World War II serving in the U.S. Army Aircorp stationed at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas where he trained as a bombardier for B-29 bombers.

Mr. Ward was employed by Norton’s Mill, he had been a salesman and staff manager for Prudential Insurance Co., a science teacher at Pioneer Central School, Kiln operator for Fitzpatrick and Weller, as well as a 20 year seasonal ticket taker at Holiday Valley Resort.

He was a very active member of Great Valley Town Government having served as Town Supervisor and Councilman for over 24 years. He is currently a member of the Great Valley planning board and former Democrat committee member in Great Valley district number 2. He had also served as an election official.

A lifelong resident of Great Valley, Joe was known throughout the community for his keen memory and attention to details. No one had a better handle on the dates, facts, and stories than Joe. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather who truly enjoyed his family, keeping up on the news and watching baseball. He took pride in serving his community in a variety of capacities highlighted by his 60 year active membership in the Great Valley Volunteer Fire Company which he helped to start in 1949.

Mr. Ward was a member of the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, Ellicottville, New York where he served as Trustee and Usher. He was a 60 year Charter member of the Great Valley Volunteer Fire Company serving as Fire Chief from 1968-1976 as well as a Fire Commissioner for Great Valley Fire District #2. Life member of the Cattaraugus County Fireman’s Association and the Southwestern Firemen’s Association. He also was a member of the New York State Chaplain’s Association and served many years as a member of the Cattaraugus County Fire Advisory Board. He was also a member of the Ellicottville Central School Board (1959-1973) serving 3 times a President. He was also a certified baseball umpire.

Surviving besides his wife are 2 sons, Mark (Barbara) Ward, Great Valley, New York and Stephen (Bridget) Ward, Great Valley, New York; 3 grandchildren, Justin, Vanessa, and Brenna Ward; one brother James (Zack) Ward, Great Valley, New York; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by a sister Elizabeth Ward and one brother John Ward. Friends may call at the O’Rourke & O’Rourke Inc. Funeral Home, 25 River Street, Salamanca, New York on Tuesday (November 17, 2009) from 7-9 P.M. and Wednesday (November 18, 2009) from 2-5 & 7-9 P.M.

Funeral services will be held in the funeral home on Thursday (November 19, 2009) at 10:00 A.M. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church at 11:00 A.M. with Msgr. Donald Wangler officiating.

Burial will be Holy Cross Cemetery, Ellicottville, New York.

Full Military services will be held by members of the American Legion Post 659 Ellicottville, New York.

The family encourages donations to the Joseph F. Ward Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Five Star Bank and Trust 54 Washington Street, Ellicottville, New York. This will be an annual graduation award at Ellicottville Central School for Students pursuing a career in Ecology or Earth Science.

E condolences can be sent to john@orourke-orourke.com