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In Memory . . . Wilfrid “Fred” Ward

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend Wilfrid (Fred) Walter Ward.  He died on his 74th birthday on January 5, 2009 with his sons Wilfrid and David beside him.  Rev. Ward was born in Rochester, New York to Wilfrid and Jean Sarah Ward.  He attended Cornell University, initially studying engineering, and graduated in 1958 with a degree in Psychology after determining he wanted to be a minister.  He attended St. Lawrence University Theological School, earning a Master of Divinity in 1961, while serving as president of his class. 

He was ordained and installed at the First Parish in Lincoln, MA, as Associate Minister on December 10, 1961; he served there for two years.  He also served the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Maryland, from 1963 to 1968 and the Unitarian Church of Princeton, New Jersey, from 1968 to 1972.  In both the Baltimore and Princeton churches, Rev. Ward served as Minister of Religious Education.  While serving the Princeton Church, Rev. Ward was responsible for a huge growth in the size and quality of the religious education program.  He also initiated the beloved tradition of the Hanging of the Greens service there.

Rev. Ward left the Princeton church to study as a family therapist.  He pursued a PhD at New York University in the Family Life Education, Marriage, and Human Sexuality graduate program.  He was the Education Director at Princeton University of the Sexuality Education, Counseling and Health Program of the University Health Services from 1973 – 1975.  In 1975 he became Associate in Training of the Marriage Council of Philadelphia in the Psychiatry Department of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.  Throughout these years, Rev. Ward maintained his fellowship with the UUA and provided consultative services to many individuals and congregations.

On March 15, 1978 he was called by the New Jersey Area Council of Unitarian Universalist Societies to be Minister of Counseling and Education and to direct the Unitarian Universalist Counseling and Education Service.  He served in that position until 1999 when he became ill from a stroke.

As a lifelong Universalist, Rev. Ward was a staunch supporter and promoter of Murray Grove, conducting many of his educational groups there. 

Rev. Ward is survived by his sons, Wilfrid W. Ward, Jr. of Acworth, Georgia and David Ward of New Paltz, New York.  At Rev. Ward’s request, there was no memorial service.  Please send messages of condolence to Wilfrid W. Ward, Jr., 1 Colonial Club Drive SE, Acworth, GA 30102.

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