In Memory

Bill Ward

William C. "Bill" Ward

William C. "Bill" Ward, 71, of Earlville, formerly of Wilmington, DE, died Tuesday, October 13, 1998, at home. Mr. Ward was a prominent contractor who operated J. T. Ward and Son Contractors, Inc. and Contractors Sand & Gravel, both in Wilmington, and Cecil Construction Corp. He worked for six decades in the construction business. In May he was inducted into the American Society of Highway Engineers Hall of Fame. His projects included Interstate 95 construction in New Castle County, DE, site work at the old Wanamakers in Wilmington, University of Delaware's Lewes Campus, Dover Mall, and many schools in New Castle County.

In 1960, he purchased the company his father had started in the 1930s. At the time of his death, he continued to operate Cecil Construction Corp. He served as national director of Associated General Contractors of America, was a past president of Allied Construction Trades, the Delaware Associated General Contractors, the Delaware Contractors Association and the Delaware Excavation and Paving Association.

He was a World War II Army veteran and charter member of DEL-VETS. He was a member of Brandywine Kiwanis Club, past district commissioner of the Middletown Pony Club, a 27-year member of Ducks Unlimited, a past chairman of Sassafras River Chapter, member of the Maryland Farm Bureau, Maryland Angus Association, a founding member of the Cecil County Drug Awareness Task Force, and served on the board of Broadmeadow School. He enjoyed traveling and was an avid hunter.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Elizabeth O. "Betty" Ward; four daughters, Jane Ward-Henry of Earlville, Nancy A. Murray of Rising Sun, Mary Ward-Hutchison of Middletown, DE, and Catherine Ward-McNatt of Port Deposit; a sister, Margaret Ward Harkins of Wilmington; and nine grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Visitation will be Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Daniels & Hutchison Funeral Home, 212 N. Broad St., Middletown. A Mass of Christian burial will be Monday at 11 a.m. in Old Bohemia Catholic Church, Warwick, with burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Cecil County or Delaware Special Olympics or Northern Chesapeake Hospice, c/o Daniel & Hutchison Funeral Hone, P. O. Box 126, Middletown, DE 19709. (Copied from the Cecil Whig, Oct. 16, 1998.)

Tribute from the Veazey Family

"The Care Taker of Cherry Grove"

Members of the Veazey-Veasey family are indebted to Bill and Betty Ward for their stewardship in the care of "Cherry Grove," and in their willingness to share it with members of the Veazey family. Bill called them the "caretakers" of Cherry Grove on the day we first met. The Ward family "discovered" and restored the family cemetery in the front of the home.

And it was an invitation from Bill on a cold January Sunday in 1992 that began our annual reunion tradition with the first event on June 11, 1993, when he said to me, "Ann, Betty and I have thought for a long time about inviting all the descendants of John Veazey back to the farm for a reunion, and I think you are organized enough to pull it off!" What I thought was a "once in a lifetime" happening has turned into an annual event with the seventh reunion scheduled for Arkansas in 1999.

In "finding" the 150 cousins who attended the "Cherry Grove" reunion in 1993, there has been a ripple affect that has touched over 500 members of the family during the past six years. I now mail this newsletter to over 800 members of the family and the Descendants of John Veazey is a testament to our extended family. All of this has come about because of Bill and Betty Ward's willingness to share our heritage with us. There is no way to measure the meaning of these events to members of our family.

The morning after we spent our first night with them at "Cherry Grove," Bill asked me if the ghost of John Veazey kept me awake during the night. I replied that since I was family, he left me alone and I had slept like a baby. It is fitting that the folks who have taken care of the ghost of John Veazey for so many years are honorary cousins of the Veazey family.

Wayne and I attended the memorial service for Bill at Old Bohemia Catholic Church in Earleville. I have talked with Betty several times since then and she sends her gratitude for the cards sent to her by members of the Veazey family.

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