Mr. James M. Ward, Jr., 92, of Greensboro,NC, passed away on January 2, 2021. Jim was born in Rocky Mount, NC, on November 18, 1928, to the late James Marion and Pauline Luper Ward. He grew up in Greenville, NC with his mother, a homemaker, and his father, a Chief ABC Law Enforcement Officer. In 1946 Jim graduated from Greenville High School where he lettered in football, baseball and track and won the state high jump award. He then enlisted in the Navy for two years, stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Station where he worked in electronics. Jim graduated from NC State University with a major in Textile Engineering. Upon graduation he joined Cone Mills Textile Corporation where he became Director of Product Standards, was a member of numerous professional associations and then retired at age 60 as a Corporate Vice President.
Jim married the love of his life, Frances Aman. They had a wonderful marriage for 65 years, having known each other since high school. Jim and Frances were charter members of Christ United Methodist Church. Known as a very close family, they raised three children and all enjoyed camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and years of boating. Jim was a natural teacher of all things practical including, knot tying, sailing, trout fishing, hunter safety, swimming, wildlife identification and appreciation of good jazz. He shared his wisdom and virtues of respect, confidence and independence with his children and grandchildren, as well as neighborhood children.
Jim and Frances loved retirement and spent 13 years in their home in Oriental, NC, with their sailboat docked out back. Many summers were spent with Jim showing his family the enjoyment of coastal life. During this time Jim and Frances sailed from the northern Chesapeake Bay to Key West and lived on the water for months at a time. As a charter member of the Greensboro Power Squadron Jim taught Seamanship, Boat Handling, Sailing and Navigation courses, including Celestial Navigation. He served as the Greensboro Squadron Commander.
He later became the D/27 Commander of the US Power Squadron. He received the National Life Member Award for 25 years of dedicated service.
In addition to boating Jim was also an avid Birder with the Piedmont Bird Club. He and Frances traveled to 27 states and 10 countries to birdwatch and added 950 different species to his Life List.
Well-Spring Retirement Community, Greensboro, became their home in 2005. Jim served as Residents Association President, as well as on many committees at Well-Spring. He was honored to serve on the Board of Trustees. Sharing in their life at Well-Spring were many dear friends some of which were from years past. Jim always enjoyed jam sessions, playing the drums with a jazz combo.
Jim was predeceased by his wife, Frances Aman Ward, in 2016. The family wishes to express gratitude to the many knowledgeable and compassionate staff of Well-Spring. Jim will be greatly missed by his children, Jim Ward (Shawn Gibbs) of Carolina Beach, Barbara Bist (Mike) of Tallahassee, Betsy MacKenzie (Colin) of Oak Ridge; 5 grandchildren, 2 step grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.
Jim had a full life. As he said - “I’ve never had a boring day in my life!”
The family requests that donations be made to Well-Spring Retirement Community Employee Appreciation Fund. Due to COVID concerns a private family celebration will be held to honor Jim.
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