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Ralph Ward Jr.

Services for Ralph Ward Jr., 63, Overton, were at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, at the First United Methodist Church in Overton with Rev. Fred Parsons officiating. Chili Ward II and Dottie Ward served as honor guards. Burial was in the Overton City Cemetery.

Mr. Ward died Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at his residence due to recently diagnosed pancreatic cancer. He was born Feb. 7, 1947, in Tyler to the late Ralph Ward Sr. and Nellie Louise Fenoglio Ward. He was president and treasurer of the Bruce McMillan Junior Foundation Inc.  He started working with his father there in February 1984 and took over in 1995 after his death.  He married Cathy Lynne Sharp March 14, 1995. 

He graduated Overton High School in 1965 and attended Kilgore College from 1965 to 1968. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1970 from Stephen F. Austin State University and majored in technical agriculture and minored in business administration. 

He received his bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University and majored in agriculture in 1973, and he majored in ag journalism and received his master’s degree in 1976.

He did his post graduate work at Sul Ross State University, Uvalde Study Center College of Business Administration in 1981-83 and in 1988 he attended Kilgore College and received his associate of arts.

Mr. Ward received a FFA Lone Star Farmer Degree in 1965 and 1988 and had been a member of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University since 1973.

He was Exchangite of the Year, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia in 1978-79 and was president, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia; he received the Nations Best Club Bulletin Award, Small Club Division, National Exchange Club in 1979-1980 while serving as Editor, Exchange Club of Tifton, Georgia.

He served as treasurer, Kiwanis Club of Uvalde in 1981-82 and as secretary from 1982-84.

He  was recipient of the Pioneer ACE Award, Southern U.S. Region (VA to TX), Agricultural Communicators in Education in 1983.

He is a past president of the Overton Rotary Club District 5830, serving in 1987-1988, and received the District 5830 Service Award from Rotary International and was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He was editor of the Rotary Club Bulletin and received the Best Club Bulletin Award.

He was a member of the Gamma Sigma Delta, The Honor Society of Agriculture, Texas A&M Chapter in 1988. 

He served on the board of directors of  the Northeast Texas Treatment Center from 1984 until 1989 and served as president from 1988 until 1989.

He had been the secretary for the Rusk County Agriculture and Youth Exposition Center since 1988 and had been the coordinator for the Overton Buyer Groups Rusk County Youth Project Show since 1992.

He served on the College of Agriculture Development Council, Texas A&M University since1994 and served as the chairman for the Kilgore College Agriculture Program Advisory Committee since 1999.

He received a 4-H Outstanding Service Award, Roundup 4-H Club, Rusk County in 2000 and the Outstanding Alumni Award, Kilgore College Agriculture Program in 2001.

He completed funding on the COADC-Ralph & Cathy Ward Endowed Scholarship in Agricultural Journalism in 2010.  The Wards have also funded two other previous scholarships with Texas A&M in the College of Agriculture Development Council (COADC).

Mr. Ward was Citizen of the Year in 2001 for the Overton-New London Area Chamber of Commerce.

Survivors include his wife, Cathy of Overton; and his two dogs, Chili Ward II and Dottie Ward; and a host of relatives and good friends.

Pallbearers were Wendell Schronk, Ernie Gill, Keith Montgomery, Rene Goforth, Robert Porter, Bob Young, Jeff Grote, Rogers Pope, Horace McQueen, and David Gunn.

Honorary pallbearers were  Charles Holmes, Wayne Lacy, Dr. Billy Wayne Irwin, Dr. Fred Thornberry, Rob Russell, Ken Ragle, and Bill Hale.

Ralph requested that donations be made to the Henderson Animal Shelter, 2257 HWY 2595, Henderson, TX 75654 or charity of your choice.

Online registration and condolences are available at

One Response to “Ralph Ward Jr.”

  1. When I went to school I stayed in the Dorms. I think they are the most enjoyable place to stay there. Some people rent houses, but I still don’t think that is the way to go.


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