Jim Ward, 78, of Abilene, Texas died Sunday, January 7, 2018 at Baylor Hospital in Plano, Texas.
The son of Charles Ward and Stella Tessman, Jim was born on April 2,1939 in Pasadena, California. He attended Pasadena High School and Pasadena Junior College. While playing baseball for Pasadena Junior College, he was offered a full athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona in Tucson. With the U of A, Jim pitched in the College World Series in 1958, 59 and 60. He graduated Cum Laude in 1960 with a degree in Business Administration. After graduation, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers Organization, with whom he played for the next 18 years, the last 9 years of which he was a Batting Practice Pitcher. He also served in the U. S. Army Reserves.
After his playing days, Jim was self-employed in the printing business in Los Angeles. He moved to Clyde, Texas in 1992 and raised Limousin cattle. In 2001, he and his wife moved to Colorado where he designed and built a Straw-Bale house, drove a school bus and coached students from local high schools.
Jim returned to Abilene, Texas in 2014 and was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame that same year. His passion was baseball, and he continued to coach young athletes up to the time of his death. He attended Zion Lutheran Church in Abilene.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, one sister, and his first wife, Nancy Ward. Survivors include his wife, Anne Ward of Abilene; two children, Darin Ward of Dallas, and Shannon Zink and husband Dave of Alaska; two stepchildren, Zachary Jackson and wife Carly of Abilene, and Joshua Jackson of Lake Leon; and eleven grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church, 2801 Antilley Road in Abilene with Pastor Clyde Kieschnick officiating, directed by The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.
Memories may be shared and condolences submitted online at: www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com.
The Family requests that memorials be made to Zion Lutheran Church at www.zion-abilene.org or the Jim Ward Baseball Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of Abilene at www.cfabilene.org.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.