Thomas “Tom” James Ward, age 69, loving husband, father, grandfather, dear friend of many and joke teller to all that would listen, passed away Friday, January 3, 2020 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family.
Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, January 10 and 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, both at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Maple Lake. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, both at the funeral chapel. A reception to celebrate Tom's life will be held at The V in Maple Lake from 12:30-2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Burial will take place at St. Timothy, East Maple Lake Cemetery.
Tom was born October 25, 1950, eight minutes after his twin brother, John, at St. Cloud Hospital to George and Margaret (Hannon) Ward. Tom was the fifth of six children, and he grew up in Maple Lake, where he graduated from high school with the Class of 1968. He attended St. Cloud State University until he was called to serve in the United States Army, where he honorably served his country while stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Tom married Sheralyn Keeney on February 21, 1976 and they made their home in Maple Lake Township. They were blessed with two children, Amanda “Mandy” and Jared, before Sheralyn’s death in 1992. Tom worked for Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association for 33 years as a lineman, before retiring in 2009. On July 20, 2002, Tom married Mary Catherine “Kate” McNulty, and together they enjoyed their nine grandchildren, gardening, bird watching and camping.
Tom was a former member of the Maple Lake American Legion Post #131. He served unofficially as one of the family historians, and was very much a fantastic storyteller, sharing everything from jokes to community stories. He loved to make people laugh, to lend a helping hand, to drink a cold beer and to share the abundance of produce grown in his garden. His many interests included camping, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, spending time at the cabin in Brainerd, listening to WCCO radio and spending time with friends and family. Tom will be remembered most for being a great friend. He was quick to lend a helping hand, share a smile, and always had a great joke or two to help lighten the load.
Tom is survived, and will be greatly missed, by his wife Kate; children Mandy (Mike) Gustafson and Jared (Alison) Ward; stepsons EJ (Nicole) McNulty and Brian (Katie) McNulty; grandchildren Grace and Anna Gustafson, Brady and Reese Ward, Mike, Colin, Ryann, Norah and Delaney McNulty; siblings Mary (Joe) Sentyrz, Bob (Lois) Ward, Jean (Mike) Fobbe, John (Sue) Ward and Becky (Chad) Mead; and many nieces, nephews, other family members, friends and former colleagues. Tom was preceded in death by his first wife Sheralyn and his parents George & Margaret.
Tom's four children will serve as urn bearers. Arrangements entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.
In honor of Tom and his great sense of humor, please share a joke, tell a story, and have a cold one with salt on the rim.
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