Conley Richard "Dick" Ward
October 2, 1930 – April 18, 2021
Conley Richard (Dick) Ward was born October 1, 1930 in Zionsville Indiana to parents Leslie and Mabel Ward and passed away peacefully surrounded by his family in Roseville, California on April 18, 2021 at the age of 90. One could sum up his life as historic, impactful, and adventurous. Dick grew up a farm boy and after HS, he enrolled first at Purdue University and a year later transferred to University of Louisville (U of L) where he took part in the NROTC. As a student at U of L Dick met his life partner, Mary Lou Kennedy, with whom he was married for 68 years until her passing in 2019. Upon graduation, Dick was commissioned in the Navy where, for 27 years he specialized in planning, directing, and applying meteorological and oceanographic observing and forecasting programs. Dick was a true patriot and served his country through two deployments in Vietnam and one in Korea. As career Navy, Dick was given various assignments of increasing responsibility including Assistant Professor at Harvard, Meteorologist on the USS Oriskany, Commander of Fleet Numerical Weather Central in Monterey, CA, and culminating his Naval career as Director Naval Oceanography and Meteorology and Assistant Oceanographer of the Navy for Environmental Prediction. After retiring from the Navy at the rank of Captain, Dick started a second career as Vice President of Ocean Data Systems, Inc and Global Weather Dynamics where he was responsible for development and marketing of communication and forecasting systems to world meteorological and aeronautical communities. He earned a BA in Chemistry from U of L, a BS in Meteorology from the Naval Post Graduate School and a MS in Oceanography from Old Dominion University. As a scientist, he was driven by evidence and logic and challenged conventional thinking. He was a member of the American Meteorological Society, as well as a lifetime member of MENSA.
Dick was an unassuming and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He and Mary Lou were the ultimate power couple, they worked together and were admired and respected by all who knew them. Family was most important to Dick, and he and Mary Lou worked hard to keep the ever expanding extended families of their four children connected. As a team he and Mary Lou organized many family reunions. On two occasions, Dick and Mary Lou took their grandchildren to Europe to expose them to international cultures. Dick also assumed the mantle of family historian, spending the last three decades scouring the archives to develop the history of the Ward and Kennedy families. Dick was the eternal optimist, even at the end of his life he told his family he still had a “five year plan”.
Dick is now with his wife, Mary Lou where they are both watching over their children. Surviving are his daughters Marsha Ward (Tom), Valerie Beyrouty (Craig Beyrouty, “What’s His Name”), Cynthia Davidson and his son Kevin Ward, his 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Preceding Dick in death was a grandchild, Daniel.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Conley Richard Ward’s name to Wounded Warriors.
“Fair winds and following seas Dick”.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Conley Richard "Dick" Ward
May 5, 2021
My condolences to the Ward family on your loss. I worked with Dick at Global Weather Dynamics (GWDI) in Monterey for many years as his director of projects and operations. Being a retired Marine, I got along very well with the retired Navy Captain in spite of the good-natured ribbing we provided each other. I can fondly remember the many Christmas parties that he and Mary Lou had at their house for our employees.
He was a great leader for GWDI and it was a pleasure to work for him. His continued efforts, business competence and outstanding leadership made GWDI one of the world's leading companies in the niche of specialized aeronautical communications and information systems. It was an enjoyable challenge and a lot of fun working with him. He will be missed. RIP sailor.
May 4, 2021
Captain Ward lead a life of principal, and along with Grand Mary, has left a family legacy to esteem. I am blessed to have know this "Navy man", sharing both attributes through his latter years.
May 1, 2021
GrandDad loved to engage with all his grandchildren in discussion. He believed in us and challenged us to think critically about the country we live in. He loved all of his family and along with GrandMary saw to it that family came together, no matter how scattered across the country we were. We will miss his great wit, his sense of humor, and his conversation, and the way he signed off every phone call with a clear and thoughtful “I love you too.” Rest In Peace GrandDad.
April 30, 2021
Dick was such a fun loving man. I don’t remember ever seeing him without a smile on his face! He was devoted to his family and I know he will be greatly missed along with Mary, his soulmate.