James Ward, 73

James (“Jim” and fondly “Winnie”) Winfield Ward of Wilton, CT, passed away on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at his home. He was born in New York City on October 10, 1940 to the late James and Florence Ward. Jim grew up in the Parkchester section of the Bronx as the older brother to his six surviving siblings — Gerry (Diana) Ward, Robert (Sandy) Ward, Jane (Patrick) Burns, Donald Ward, Patricia Ward and Virginia Ward. Always placing family first, his tight bond with his brothers, sisters and their families endured throughout his life.

After attending Cardinal Hayes High School and Fordham University, Jim held a variety of roles in the insurance and financial services industries, most recently as Senior Field Vice President with Mutual of America in New York City. Throughout his career, Jim’s unique ability to make people laugh and feel comfortable allowed him to build relationships with colleagues and clients that grew into true long-lasting friendships. He was deeply honored by, and very proud of, the Lifetime Friend Award presented to him by the Meals on Wheels Association of America in 2011.

In 1970, Jim was married to Cynthia (Morin) Ward in Boston. Together, they lovingly raised three children — Jennifer (Brian) Meres of Ridgefield, CT, John (Sevia) Ward of Rowayton, CT and Stephen (Phoebe) Ward of Bronxville, NY. He is also survived by six grandchildren whom he delighted with his infectious spirit, humor and joy; they loved and adored him tremendously. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, his unique ability to fill their lives with laughter and make them feel special and loved will be sorely missed.

Beyond his immediate family, Jim was an active and respected member of his community. While raising his children, he volunteered countless hours to serving the schools and local endeavors. He coached numerous sports teams, was an active member of various PTAs and served as President of the Wilton Lacrosse Association.

More recently, he focused his volunteer efforts on those most in need. He provided friendship, comfort and counseling to terminally ill patients and their families through the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County. In addition, he developed a remarkable relationship with Sister Kate Holland of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Wilton. His weekly visits with her over the last several years meant a great deal to him. Over the past two years, Jim enjoyed mentoring three young athletes at his alma mater, Cardinal Hayes High School, in the Bronx. With a concern for others being at his core, Jim strived to make others feel good, most often during some of their most difficult times.

Friends may call at the Hoyt-Cognetta Funeral Home, 5 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851 on Friday, September 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm. A Memorial Mass in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, September 20 at 10:30 am at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, 229 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, P.O. Box 489, Wilton, CT 06897 or to the James Ward Basketball Scholarship Fund c/o Cardinal Hayes High School Cardinal and Gold Fund, 650 Grand Concourse, New York, NY 10451.