Pat Francis Ward – Loving Father, Brother, and Friend
Patrick Francis Ward was born March 30th, 1958, in Chicago, Illinois, to John and Colleen Ward. He attended Saint Mary’s school in Des Plaines, Illinois, and Sacred Heart School in Auburn Heights, Michigan, before moving over to the Avondale school system. At Avondale High School, Pat ran cross country and long-distance track. Following graduation, Pat moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, and lived there for two years before moving back up north. He lived with his brother Brian in Crown Point, Indiana, before returning to Michigan and started a long career at Jack Cauley Chevrolet, eventually becoming their fleet sales manager and building a thriving fleet sales operation there. When Cauley closed in the wake of the GM bankruptcy, Pat moved over to Lunghamer Chevrolet in Waterford to set up their fleet sales, working there until his retirement in 2018.
Pat met Sandy Yoder in 1991, and they married in 1992. Bradley Patrick was born in 1994, and Pat was enormously proud of Bradley and the man he became. Most important to Pat is his family and friends. He was the fifth of eight, and his siblings included Eileen Gibson (Bob), Brian (Lissa), Sean (Carol), Sheila Bailey (Chuck), Dennis (Colette de la Barre), Jerry (Germaine), and Meghan (Martin Turon), and many nieces and nephews.
Pat loved being with other people and always enjoyed social gatherings with friends and family. He was jovial and sometimes just goofy, especially on the rare occasion when he might hoist a drink or two. For many years he and his brother Sean owned a cabin in Brethren, Michigan, and he loved to go there on weekends and hang out with friends, siblings, and up north neighbors. His annual Fourth of July party was legendary, packed with family, friends, and neighbors enjoying food, drink, backyard games, and the party-goers’ migration down to the lake for the Sylvan Lake fireworks. Pat loved to just hang out with other people, and when he couldn’t, he’d pick up the phone and call. Often he’d call to say, “I was just wondering about something…” and although he could have found the answer on Google, what he really wanted was just to say hello.
Pat had a great sense of nostalgia and always loved the classics. He had memorabilia from his childhood years, including artifacts from The Three Stooges, old movies, old cars, and many antiques. When it came to cars, Pat never bought a boring generic sedan if he could get something cooler. Among the cars he owned throughout the years were a ’63 Falcon, a ’64 Impala SS, and a yellow ’72 Beetle convertible. When he passed away, he owned three cars – a ’68 Barracuda, an ’85 Riviera, and a cherry mid-80s Buick he just had to have because it was hardly driven by the little old lady down the street. Why three cars for one person? Well, because he just liked them and couldn’t contain his enthusiasm.
Pat was a loving dad, a loyal friend, and a great son and brother. His passing leaves a great hole in our lives but also priceless memories. We were blessed to have had him in our lives.