Some people want to be remembered as good parents, spouses or friends, but I get the feeling that Terry Wayne Ward would quite enjoy the worldwide response to his obituary.
Terry “escaped this mortal realm”, as his daughter Jean put it when writing the obituary, on January 23. It appears he had a zest for life, and the same should be said for Jean.
She claims she inherited her wit from her father, and for that we can only thank him.
Some of my favourite parts of the obit below, which you can read in full on the Geisen Funeral Home site:
[He left behind] 32 jars of Miracle Whip, 17 boxes of Hamburger Helper and multitudes of other random items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Terry is survived by his overly-patient and accepting wife Kathy, who was the love of his life (a fact she gladly accepted sympathy for during their 48 years of marriage)…
Terry [above with daughter Jean] graduated from Thornridge High School in South Holland, IL, where only three of his teachers took an early retirement after having had him as a student. He met the love of his life, Kathy, by telling her he was a lineman – he didn’t specify early on that he was a lineman for the phone company, not the NFL. Still, Kathy and Terry wed in the fall of 1969, perfectly between the Summer of Love and the Winter of Regret…
He retired from AT&T (formerly Ameritech, formerly formerly Indiana Bell) after 39 years of begrudging service, where he accumulated roughly 3,000 rolls of black electrical tape during the course of his career (which he used for everything from open wounds to “Don’t use this button” covers)…
My personal favourite is the hummus dig:
He despised “uppity foods” like hummus, which his family lovingly called “bean dip” for his benefit, which he loved consequently. He couldn’t give a damn about most material things, and automobiles were never to be purchased new. He never owned a personal cell phone and he had zero working knowledge of the Kardashians…
Memorial donations in Terry’s name can be made to your favorite charity or your favorite watering hole, where you are instructed to tie a few on and tell a few stories of the great Terry Ward.
I reckon this Terry chap was a bit of a legend, right?
After the obituary began to gather steam online, the Washington Post reached out to Jean for comment:
“He was just an average guy,” said Lahm, 43. “There are a million people just like him. It’s really crazy how much attention it has gotten. I think to myself, well, he hasn’t done anything super extraordinary in his life — he hasn’t won a Nobel Prize or climbed the corporate ladder…
Lahm, who works as the community relations director at a funeral home, remembers writing her sister’s obituary and inserting a little bit of humor — something her dad loved, she said.
So when it came time to write her father’s obituary, Lahm said, she told herself: “Okay, we’re going mostly funny.”
“I definitely can just see him laughing [in heaven],” she said. “When he smiled, he smiled with his whole face. His face lit up, and there was this loud, thunderous laugh he had.”
She added: “I truly picture him and my sister up there, eating popcorn, watching everything unfold — laughing hysterically.”
Sounds like a life well lived by old Tezza. I’ll sink a drink or three in his honour.