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WARD, Sr., Raymond William

February 17, 2013 12:21 AM

WARD, Sr., Raymond William

Was born on December 17, 1932 in Santa Barbara, California and passed away on Monday, January 7, 2013. Ray is preceded in death by his parents, Richard Peter Ward and Maria Mercedes Espinosa, brother, Joseph Ward, sisters; Ethel Cordero, Dorothy Valencia and Katherine Morrell. Ray was an honorable Veteran of the United States Marines and served in active combat in the Korean War. He was a respected Elder in the Chumash community and had keen family knowledge and a sense of its place in Santa Barbara's history. He loved to hold conversations about the old times and the family stories passed down to him about his Grandfather. He looked forward to returning to Limuw (Santa Cruz Island) for the annual Chumash Tomol (canoe) Crossing each year; especially knowing the connection to his Grandfather, Jose Espinosa -"El Viejo," who spent the majority of his life at Limuw as an Indian Vaquero & boat Capitan. Jose's relationship with the Islands natural environment, traditional knowledge of the plant medicines, marine and land animals and his navigational skills provided for his stories to be memorialized through oral and published history. Ray was a tribal member of the Barbareño Chumash Council and was happy to see his children taking active roles in the Chumash community. Ray maintained lifetime friendships from his youth. He especially cherished the friendships from his childhood neighborhood on Santa Barbara Street near the Presidio. He also treasured the experiences he had and what he learned from the Japanese American community about respect. His children heard names of old friends and their stories from the time they were young. Ray came full circle in his life after spending 40 years living in the State of Washington where he had a successful floor covering business; he was determined to come home to spend the last years of his life with his children and grandchildren in Santa Barbara and to realize his final resting place with his family at Calvary Cemetery. He is survived by the mother of his five children, Mary Mendoza and their children Raymond Ward, Jr., Matthew Ward, Jan Ward Olmstead, Paulette Ward & Susan Fountain, their spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his wife in Washington, Connie Ward, her children & grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 22, 2013 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 21 East Sola St., Santa Barbara with a reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers donations will be accepted for a memorial stone.


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