Gale L. Ward

Gale L. Ward left life reluctantly on March 17, 2018, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Leavenworth, Washington.
Gale’s rich and full life began in Wendell, Idaho on June 21, 1942, the sixth and last child of Floyd Gaylord (Jack) and Katie Caroline Ward. After living in various Pacific Northwest locations, his family settled in Quincy, Washington, where he and Kathleen Laree Fromm (Kathy), his wife of 52 years, first met and where they graduated together from Quincy High School.
Their pursuit of adventure and education through the ‘60s and ‘70s took them to homes in California, Utah, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and then back to Washington, this time Leavenworth. He enjoyed telling all who would listen that a child was born in each state along the way. It was during those early years that he spent time as an insurance adjuster, an agriculture inspector, a youth camp cook, and a forest service firefighter.
But university teaching had his heart. A temporary move to Hawai’i in 1975 turned into 33 years of island life and teaching at BYU-Hawai’i. There he influenced, and was influenced by, his many students of literature and his colleagues and community friends.
He was an educated and learned man who loved words and ideas and conversation. He also enjoyed the quiet, especially in the early morning hours. To many he is best known for his quick wit, to others his generosity, to still others his collections—of all things chicken, pens and notebooks, coke memorabilia, yardsticks, Igloo coolers, and of course, books.
He was part of two strong extended families, traveled to many places, and felt an affinity to England. Chaucer and Milton were his best friends—and the Irishman, James Joyce.
Dad was most proud of his wife, his children and grandchildren, and his students. He cooked for all of us: Medieval dinners, Papa’s Diner, beach cookouts, pizza parties. He was the family grocery shopper and breakfast chef. He helped to build two well lived-in homes, first in Punalu’u Valley on Oah’u, the other on land in Leavenworth homesteaded by our mother’s great-grandparents. He watched movies and created a rock garden. He fed the birds. He went to church.
Dad was preceded in death by three brothers, Jack, Stan, and Gene. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and his five children: Robert (Von Bridges), Jennifer (Rod Vos), Christopher, Benjamin (Paula Smith), and Allison (Ryan Gunter). He has eleven remarkable grandchildren: Jonah, Robert, Ry, Joshua, Hadyn, Brodie, Sofia, Jesse, Natasha, Courtney, and Eve. He is survived also by his sister, Elaine, and brother, Keith, and a grand array of nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.


User menu

NCW Media Newspapers