Michael Patrick Ward, 61, died Aug. 2 in Pagosa Springs. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas A. Ward and Dorothy Ward, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is survived by his wife, Joan Yuhas Ward, of Pagosa Springs; his brother Thomas J. Ward and sister-in-law Elizabeth Ward, of Columbia, S.C.; and nephew Ryan Ward, of Rumson, N.J.
Michael was originally from Wilkes-Barre, where he graduated from Coughlin High School. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and had a lifelong interest in the outdoors and conservation. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was president of the Civil Engineering Society during his senior year. He worked his entire career with Praxair, Inc., a global industrial gases company. During the first part of his career, he managed construction projects in a variety of locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. During the latter part of his career, he was a program manager at Praxair headquarters near Buffalo.
Michael and Joan, also from Wilkes-Barre, married in 1990. Their families were longtime friends. Michael and Joan retired in 2007 and moved to Pagosa Springs.
Michael loved the mountains and enjoyed skiing and hiking with his many good friends. He was active as a board member of the Weminuche Audubon Society and the Timber Ridge Homeowners Association. He also assisted his wife Joan in her activities with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.
Michael will be sorely missed by family and friends. In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations may be made to any of the food pantries in Pagosa Springs or the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. A private service will be held in late August.