M. Sgt. Charles Lee Ward, Ret., died on February 12, 2014 at age 93, at James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home.
Born on January 17, 1921 in Cove Creek, NC, he was the son of the late William and Maude Ward.
Mr. Ward is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; son Charley Ward and his wife Karen; grandchildren, Roger Ward, Joshua Ward and step grandchildren Meg McKinnon and Mac McKinnon and dozens of nieces and nephews. Out of a family of 13 siblings, three survive, Wiley Ward, Cecil Ward and Eleanor Gragg.
Charles L. Ward… believer, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend to many lived out the last 6 years of his life at the Mountain Home Community Living Center. He was expertly and lovingly cared for by the doctors and staff of the second floor.
Affectionately known as Charlie, Sarge, or Top he would roam the halls of the CLC and the grounds of Mountain Home in his powered wheel chair. Whether in the PX or the hospital or wherever he went he was greeted with cheerful hellos and hugs by the ladies. He would often visit his roommate friends that preceded him to heaven. And of course, he would feed his stray cats that only he could touch, twice a day no matter the weather.
A soldier for 23 years, Top was a multi-decorated combat wounded warrior from WWII, having been in one of the elite groups, known as Merrill’s Marauders. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star with a V for valor, for saving the life of his platoon leader by putting himself in the line of fire. He was one of 200 remaining out of the original 2700 still capable of continuing the fight with the Mars Task Force to capture Burma from the Japanese.
As so many from the Greatest Generation, he struggled silently with the memories of the war, yet lived a life without complaint. Most didn’t know that he struggled so, until the last few years of his life when he was willing to speak of the feelings about his experiences. Not only as a hero of war but as a hero in life right to the very end, in the hearts of all that knew him, Dad will be greatly missed.
His memory will be honored at a memorial service at the Mountain Home CLC dining room on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM.
Memories and condolences can be viewed and shared with the family at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Obituary courtesy of Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services, 3001 Peoples Street Johnson City, TN 37604 (423) 610-7171.