William J. (Bill) Ward Sr.

William J. (Bill) Ward Sr. died peacefully on July 17, 2009. Born on April 12, 1932, in San Francisco, Calif., to Floyd and Edna Ward, he moved to Tenino, Wash., at the age of 16. He graduated from Tenino High School and Western Washington University. He married E. Eleanor Lycan, his high school sweetheart, in 1952.

Mr. Ward was a teacher and the first basketball coach at Mercer Island schools from 1953 to 1956. He and Eleanor later moved to Yelm, where he taught and coached three sports for five years. In 1958, Mr. Ward coached the Yelm High School boys basketball team to the state B Championship. He moved his young family to Tumwater in 1961, where he was one of the first teachers hired to open the new high school. Along with his teaching duties, he also coached football, basketball, track and boys and girls golf while at THS. In 1986, he retired from coaching Tumwater basketball after 25 years. He continued teaching and coaching golf until his retirement in 1991.

Mr. Ward and his family operated Top O’ the Morning Espresso and Deli, and he sold insurance with his daughter for NASE until his complete retirement in 2002.

Mr. Ward is survived by his wife of 57 years, Eleanor; children, Bill Jr. (Janine), Louisa Shimamoto (Alan) and Patrick (Cheri); grandchildren, Kevin, Erin and Kyle Ward, Kalani Bunda-Shimamoto and Elizabeth Shimamoto; beloved sister, Marjorie Hopwood Weeks, and stepbrother, Don Eddy, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Mr. Ward felt it important to lead by example and was also an avid fan of Husky football.

A private family service was held at St. Michael’s Westside Chapel on July 22. A gathering for Mr. Ward will be held at Tumwater High School PAC at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. Please come join a celebration of his life, an opportunity to share reflections, words of wisdom, and those “Bill Wardisms” he shared with everyone.

Remembrances are suggested to the Tumwater Educational Foundation, Coach Bill Ward Scholarship, to recognize Mr. Ward’s efforts at helping young adults grow and learn. To leave remembrances online, please visit www.mem.com.