April 7, 2020

William Draper Ward Sr.


William Draper Ward Sr., 84, of Summer St., Rehoboth, passed away peacefully at home, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. He was the husband of 63 years of Gail (Henry) Ward.

Born Aug. 22, 1935 in Providence, he was the son of the late Edmund and Alice (Wholey) Ward, and was raised on Smithfield Avenue in the Fairlawn section of Pawtucket.

He was a 1953 graduate of Pawtucket west High School. He was a successful swimmer at Pawtucket West High and the Pawtucket Boys Club. At one point he was offered a swimming scholarship to NC State but chose to attend Providence College. After one year of college he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was honorably discharged prior to returning to Providence College. He graduated PC in 1960 and went into business with his father operating Atlas Boiler Works and Acme Boiler Rentals from 1960 until 2015. After a health setback he sold his business interest to the Wilkinson Companies in Rockland, MA but continued working for the next five years until his recent retirement in October 2019.

He enjoyed meeting people and always struck up a conversation with anyone who would listen. Many of his business acquaintances became close friends and there was never a day he wasn’t on his game. He loved his work and never wanted to retire. He enjoyed fishing with family and friends, traveling at times to the national parks, attending horse shows and always a dog companion wherever he went. He enjoyed a good conversation with anyone on any topic. Always a friend and always there when you needed one.

He was the loving father to Patricia Grieshaber and her husband Tom of Rehoboth, William Ward Jr. and his wife Natalie of Attleboro, Lisa Ward of Rehoboth, and the late Cheryl Nelson of Attleboro. Grandfather to Chelsea Grieshaber Rousseau and Eric Grieshaber, Danielle and William Ward III, and Trevor and Chace Nelson. Great Grandfather of Hope, Harper and Valerie Nelson.

His funeral will begin Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 8:45am from the Rebello Funeral Home and Crematory, 901 Broadway, East Providence, with a Mass Christian Burial at 10am in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Taunton Ave., Seekonk. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket. Calling hours will be Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 4pm until 8pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are greatly appreciated to the RISPCA, 186 Amaral St., Riverside, RI 02915. (www.rispca.com)


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