JOSEPH ANDREW WARD, 72, of Wayne, went home to be with the Lord after a brave battle with cancer, caused by exposure to Agent Orange, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Joe was born May 5, 1949, in Wayne County, to the late Brady and Sadie (Mullins) Ward. He was a 1967 graduate of Buffalo High School and went on to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He served two tours in Vietnam, where he earned two Purple Hearts as well as the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal/1*, the Vietnamese Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. After his time in the military, he served the state of West Virginia as a Conservation Officer with the Division of Natural Resources, retiring as a sergeant after 37 years of service, for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award on June 26 of this year. He was a member of Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, where he regularly attended services until COVID-19 and his illness prevented him from going. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a son, Joseph Andrew (Joey) Ward II; two sisters, Frances Lucas and Libby Hohman; and five brothers, James, Johnny, Edward, Herbert and Robert Ward. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Dianna; two sons, Chris Reese of McCleansville, N.C., and Steve Reese of Minford, Ohio; two daughters, Talina (Glen) Spurlock of Ona and Katrina Dick of Kenova; his son-in-law, Jerid, whom he loved like a son; five grandchildren, Brittany Spurlock of Huntington, Becca Grace, Chloe Faith and Addilee Hope Reese, all of McCleansville, N.C.; grandson, Jaxon Dick of Kenova; along with one great-grandchild, Eli Gillenwater of Huntington. Also surviving him are his three sisters, Donna Neff of Westmoreland, W.Va., Cora Dixon and Dottie Williams, both of Ceredo; one brother, Brady Ward Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; as well as his two very special friends, his loving dog, Pearl, and his beloved old cat, Blue Boy; and nieces, nephews, church family and loving friends too numerous to mention. He was a great man who was respected by many, feared by some, but loved by all, who spent his life keeping the wolf from the door. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Johnson-Tiller Funeral Home with Pastors Shirley Ball and Roger Perry officiating and the Division of Natural Resources Police serving as pallbearers. Burial will follow in the Elmwood Cemetery Annex with military honors performed by American Legion Post 93. Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and again from 11 a.m. till service time on Saturday.
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