A Life Lived: Fred Ward was a thinker and doer, loved people

Published 11:27 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fredric Carroll Ward was still in the making when he died. “He was always thinking and doing,” said his wife, Denise.

Fred, as he was known to many, died Sept. 9 at the age of 76. He was known from an early age by his nickname “Cog,” and to school friends as Carroll. Regardless of the name you knew him as, Fred Ward crammed a lot of living in those 76 years.

He grew up in a house behind Siam Baptist Church and was one of 13 children, three of whom died at birth. He was the youngest of five boys. His parents were Clayton and Elizabeth Ward.

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Fred graduated from Hampton High School, where he was a member of the track team. He amassed a number of blue ribbons in the half mile, one-mile and two-mile races. His track coach was the late Dan Crowe, one of the best.

After high school Fred served in the United States Air Force from 1964 to 1967, serving in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and Okinawa.

“Fred was a hard worker, a good provider for our family. He loved his three boys and his grandchildren,” said Denise.

Fred worked as a welder and in a nuclear plant for many years and later became owner/operator of a tractor-trailer rig, doing long hauls.

He was an outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting and fishing, and helped establish the Carter County Hunting and Fishing Club. “In his spare time he liked to be out in the mountains or on a river bank somewhere.  He especially enjoyed hunting deer and dove. He had a number of hunting and fishing friends,” said Denise.

“Fred always had something to say. He was very friendly and was full of stories. He was the talker and I was the listener,” Denise shared.

After suffering a heart attack in February 2008, Fred took up woodworking and carving. “It was good therapy for him as he spent a lot of time making turkey calls, eagles, knives, walking canes, and jewelry boxes.

“One day, he said, ‘I think I might make a turkey call.’ After making one, he made more and more. Some he gave away, some he sold. But that was the beginning of his wood carving. He would go out to the barn and stay for hours, just coming to the house long enough to eat and sleep,” Denise shared.

He made all three of his boys a knife. The handles were made from deer antler and the blades from lawnmower blades, which he spent hours filing to get them down just right.

In addition to woodworking, Fred enjoyed reading, especially westerns and Civil War books. “He could read a book in a day, and he had a photographic memory. He remembered everything he read and every book he had read. He had a knack for remembering important things, such as his Social Security number, the number on his driver’s license, insurance card, etc.,” said Denise.

Wood crafts were not the only thing Fred took up after becoming disabled, but he gave his life to the Lord, and he shared his love for the Lord and for his church at Sims Hill Christian with everyone he met. “Because of his health he didn’t always get to attend church, but his church family meant a lot to him,” said Denise.

One thing Fred never did like was computers. “He just never could accept them,” his wife said.

Fredric Carroll Ward lived a full life. He was a hard worker, had seen a lot of the world, and had many wonderful experiences. He thoroughly enjoyed his family and the people around him. One would have to say, he gave life his best.