David E. Ward, 49, Portsmouth

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David Earl Ward, 49, died Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Spokane Veterans Home after enduring the debilitating rigors of ALS. He last resided in Portsmouth before moving to be with his family in Spokane, Wash.

He is survived by his wife, Elke, children Mayla and James, father Gary (Lynnette), sister Pennee Schmitt (Michael) and niece Sydney.

David grew up in Dumas, Texas, graduated from Dumas High School and proceeded to attend college at Texas A&M where he was a member of the Aggie Band and received a degree in civil engineering. 

After graduating, he served over 20 years in the U.S. Navy prior to retiring with the rank of Commander. During those years, he served on the USS Oldendorf, USS Shiloh, USS Hue City, COMCARGRU SIX (USS John F Kennedy), USS Nassau, received a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, taught naval science at Texas A&M and facilitated War Games at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport. Upon retiring, he continued working with the Navy as a civilian contractor until shortly after his diagnosis with ALS in 2014.

David handled his ALS stoically, maintained his humor and lived his remaining years for his children. David was blessed with many true and loyal friends; he loved his wife and children and was thankful for each moment he was able to spend with them. Most of all, David Earl Ward loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The family would like to thank the Spokane Veterans Home, the Veterans Administration and everyone else who supported David with such care and compassion throughout his illness.

A Memorial service will be held at Riplinger Funeral Home, 4305 N. Division, Spokane, Wash., in their chapel on Friday, May 19, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow at 1822 E South Ridge Drive, Spokane, Wash.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the ALS Association, Evergreen Chapter; The Spokane Veterans Home Betterment Fund; or the Association of Former Students Annual Giving (Memorial Gift) at Texas A&M.

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