James Edward Ward, 92, of Kalamazoo, Mich., the son of the late Martha Ward Simons, was born on Jan. 8, 1919, in Huntersville, Virginia. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sept. 27, 2011.
A cremation has already taken place.
A Memorial Service and burial with Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., at a date to be announced.
James attended the Nansemond County school system where he excelled academically and graduated at the top of his class. Following graduation he attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and after 1 year, joined the United States Army during World War II. He proudly served his country for five years and following an honorable discharge, used the G.I. Bill to attend A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Science Education.
While attending a statistics class at A&T, he met Argie Smith, a student who was majoring in math and requested his help with the statistics class. They married in April, 1950, and after a brief stint as a high school science teacher, he began a career with the U.S. Postal Service. This career lasted over 30 years beginning with riding the mail train between Hamlet, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., and ending his career as Post Master in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
He was preceded in death by Argie in 1988, his mother, Martha, and his sisters, Mary Thomas Ward and Alma Ward Alexander. He is survived by 3 children, DeNard El-Amin of the Virgin Islands, Myra (Dennis) Johnson of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Patricia (Preston) McCullough of Los Angeles, California; seven grandchildren, Mia (Ramon) Fuller of Fort Worth, Texas, Nikki (Cornelius) Kirk of Raleigh, North Carolina, DeNia El-Amin of San Antonio, Texas, DeNard Tashaun El-Amin of Charlotte, North Carolina, Nai’lah El-Amin of the Virgin Islands; Adia McCullough and Jamil McCullough of Los Angeles, California; affectionately known as “Super Grandpa” to eight great grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and friends. The family would also like to acknowledge the caregivers, friends and staff of Directors Hall and Upjohn Community Care Center for their compassionate care and concern over the past three years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to: Directors Hall, c/o The Heritage Community of Kalamazoo Foundation, 2400 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001.
Arrangements by the Harper Funeral Home, 521 Douglas Ave., Kalamazoo. Messages of condolence may be left at: www.harperfuneralhomeinc.com