In Memory


Roger Ward

Our classmate, Arlene (Avery) Burke provided the following information about the passing of classmate, Roger Ward.  

If you have additional information about Roger's passing (e.g., obituary, date of passing, etc), please contact Fred Brostoff at

go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

01/19/24 08:00 AM #8    

Peter Skoglund

Roger was my roommate our freshman year at Northwstern. We had so much fun we were lucky not to be thrown out. His Dad took us to the best "soul" restaurant on the south side. My Mom was his teacher before he got to ETHS. When NU went to the Rose Bowl in 1996 he had dinner with our family. My sons loved the stories. His Dad was a mail carrier and a wonderful guy. He was one of a kind. I will be at the service on 1/27.

01/19/24 11:59 AM #9    

Theodore Downing

My heartfelt condolences go out to Guy (Roger's brother and ETHS grad) and the entire family. Roger and I reconnected the last several years and I spoke with  him not to long ago.  He was one of the many great classmates that we have lost to soon.  RIP my friend

Ted Downing '64

01/20/24 11:07 AM #10    

Victor Brown

I, too, am sorry to hear of Roger's passing.  I have many memories of Roger at ETHS, but one sticks in my mind far more than the others.  We were playing a game on the ETHS baseball diamond and a big storm came up.  The wind was howling like crazy and my mother was in the stands watching the team play.  She shouted out a warning to me to get in the car to be safe.  Roger mimicked her perfectly, in a high-pitched, falsetto voice, "Vic, Vic, get in the car before the wind blows you away!"  That was a true statement at the time since I probably weighed no more than a little over a hundred pounds.  It would probably take a Category 5 hurricane to blow my 300+ lb. body away these days.  Unfortunately, my new Stage 4 metastatic lung cancer has resulted in my gaining a lot of weight, instead of losing weight like it usually does with cancer. Anyhow, I often think about Roger and that funny incident, and think if only Roger could see me now.

01/20/24 12:07 PM #11    

Peter Davis

So sorry to hear of Roger's passing.  I knew him at ETHS and Northwestern, and would see him from time to time in Evanston after graquation from NU, until we moved away.  Obviously a good athlete and a very claasy guy, but also very smart, friendly and kind. 

01/28/24 06:37 PM #12    

Fred Brostoff

The following information was provided by the family of our classmate, Roger Ward:

We the family of Dr. Roger Thomas Ward, deeply acknowledge the many acts
of kindness, support, and expressions of comfort during our time of bereavement.
Thank you for your prayers, phone calls, cards and visits.
May God abundantly bless each of you.

Celebrating The Life
Dr. Roger Thomas Ward, Ph.D.
Sunrise: January 3, 1947 - Sunset: December 15, 2023
Memorial Service
Saturday, January 27, 2024
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Levy Senior Center – Linden Room
300 Dodge Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Officiant – Elder Alex Childress

Reflections of The Life of Dr. Roger Ward

Roger Thomas Ward was born on January 3, 1947, in Chicago to the late Charter and Louise (Whiteside) Ward. The family was completed with the birth of his brother, Guy in 1949.

Roger attended Evanston public schools. His early education was at Foster Elementary, Haven Jr. High, and Evanston Township High School (ETHS) Class of 1964. While at ETHS Roger was a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling, and baseball. He was selected All-Suburban Conference player as a Defensive End. He qualified for the state wrestling tournament in his Jr. and Sr. years, placing second place at the 165-pound class as a senior. He was also a successful baseball pitcher.

Roger received a football scholarship to Northwestern University, where he completed his undergraduate education with a B.S. degree in Math and Physics in 1968.  In 1969, Roger was recruited by IBM in Owego, New York to work with other engineers solving the heating issue for the astronauts traveling and landing on the moon.

Roger also received a Master of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics in 1970. In the fall of 1971, he began his doctoral studies in Engineering Man-Machine Systems at UCLA. He received various fellowships and a Research Assistant position during his tenure as a Ph.D. candidate, with completion of his doctoral degree in 1978.

Roger’s early career included employment as an aerospace engineer intern at the Rand Corporation, Jet Propulsion Lab and Hughes Aircraft, where he helped design programs for communication satellites. He later exceled as a bio-medical engineer and researcher while at Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles, investigating bio-chemical factors for people with sickle cell anemia. He was also a lecturer for Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Roger had a love for music, especially jazz and hard rock. He attended the infamous Woodstock Music Fest, the Monterey Jazz Fest, and the Berkeley Jazz Fest. He also enjoyed playing Monopoly every New Year’s Eve (as if it involved real money), taking cruises, the Bayou Classic Football game, attending the Taste of Chicago and playing Madden Football until the wee hours of the morning. Additionally, his last venture included years of research while drafting his book on vitamins & health supplements.

In addition to his brother Guy, he is survived by his ex-wife Devyanne Ward, children Jocelynn Harrod Ridley, Jeffery Ward (Cynthia), Sarah (Tweety) Harrod, Amber Ward, ex-wife Vivian, 11 Grandchildren, 10 Great-grandchildren, and a host of additional relatives and friends.


Dear Dad,

This has been a hard pill to swallow, as with life we must proceed.
Alas, “The Great African Storyteller” has taken his final bow.
I will miss our conversations starting with current events,
segue waying into historical fact-finding missions, transcending.
into humorous stories, followed up by an educational lesson for me.

I will treasure these moments and keep them near and dear
to my heart.

Rest Peacefully Sir.
Love you, Sarah (Tweety)

Dear Dad,

Thank you for being a part of where I come from. In the book of
Genesis, it states who begat whom, and so our story shall read... and
Roger Thomas Ward lived seventy-six years and begat Jeffery.
It is you Dad that made half of me, and I thank you for that.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be just like you. I wanted to live back in
Los Angeles, I wanted to attend U.C.L.A., I wanted to be the next
Dr. Ward.

I loved visiting you every summer and miss how when you came to
visit us, we always went to Hamburger Hamlet. Thank you for a life
of great memories and always being the life of the party, for being as
you called it "The Great African Story-Teller". And now you shall
rest Dad... until we meet again.

Your only begotten Son,


To My Dad

A daughter’s first love is her daddy. You were mine, Dad.
My smart, funny, handsome daddy. I’ve loved you my whole
life. I will always love you! I’ve cherished every moment.

When I would fall and hurt myself you picked me up, dusted
me off and told me I was tough now, get back out there!
I never forgot those words. Still to this day, I hear you
saying those same words when I’m faced with things that hurt…
I hear you saying - get up and keep going; you’re tough!

I’m going to miss all the crazy stories you would tell.
The last three weeks we shared before you got your call to come home was a ending to a life-long love affair between a daughter and her super-hero - her dad!
I’m going to miss you! I will forever

be your loving daughter Ja Ja!


To My Brother Roger

I miss you already. I have known you all my life and thank
you for caring for me, looking after me, and guiding me as
my big brother. You are a friend, a mentor, and my example
on how to care of myself and my most fierce competitor
in sports.

If we lost to one another, we would not let the other quit
until our Mother forced us to go to bed. Thank you for friends
that I also considered big brothers because they were your
friends. Thank you for your trips to Berkeley that entertained my friends so much that I would often get questions as to when you would return.

I will always love you, Roger.

God bless you and keep you.


To My Dad

From Amber
My daddy my daddy.. being the youngest daughter of the Ward clan
I have so many memories of my daddy. 

Daddy was born January 3rd in Chicago, Illinois which I knew from a very early age,
as he made that known. He was very proud of his accomplishments as a PhD graduate from UCLA.
Some of my memories of daddy stem from his knowledge of medicine and trauma research. In November of 1999 at the tender age of 17, I was critically wounded by a GSW (gunshot wound). Daddy was johnny on the spot, he immediately began working with the attending physicians to help with the life saving techniques that he had researched.  I can't recall the exact name of the medicine daddy recommended
but I do know it was a blood clotting medicine.

Thank God they listened my daddy's recommendations. It saved my life!!!!!

For that I was grateful to my daddy. Dr. Roger Ward was a smart
very smart man who should be recognized for his quest to do the impossible. He also was a grandfather who was very helpful and inspirational to my daughter, Aria A Johnson.
Affectionately known as "Poppy" Aria loves and misses him.
Many fond memories have been created and always etched in our

Love u always Daddy

Order of Service
Musical Prelude
Remarks: Please limit to 3 minutes
Reading of Obituary
Words of Comfort
Musical Prelude

01/29/24 09:08 PM #13    

Susan Spiegel (Pastin)

What wonderful tributes to a remarkable man!

01/29/24 10:58 PM #14    

William Wanlund

I agree, Susan -- this is a wonderful tribute. Obituaries often exaggerate -- this one rings true, and the family's contributions fill out the picture. 

01/30/24 08:06 AM #15    

Fred Brostoff

Rommie Taylor provided the following link to an article about Roger in the Evanston Round Table:

01/31/24 06:41 PM #16    

Janet Eisen

Thank you Fred for posting what Roger's family shared with you.  Like Gale, I remember Roger from Mrs. Hughe's class at Haven. I remember that he always had a big smile on his face which of course made others smile, too.  One of my most lasting and funniest memoriesr from Junior High was a day when our entire class was being reprimanded and told to stay after school, which became a story I've told my kids and many friends and always put a smile on my face. What a full, remarkable and meaningful life Riger lived with profound achievements impacting many people and projects. 

06/16/24 04:47 PM #17    

Carl Ledford

Missing Roger and Arlene Avery. We all grew up around Dodge ave. I was at 2030

go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page


Click here to see Roger's last Profile entry.