Wade D. Ward

Crisfield Lawyer Was Long Active In Community Organizations, Veteran Affairs And The Masons

July 04, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Wade D. Ward, who practiced law in Crisfield for more than 50 years and was active in numerous civic, Masonic and veterans organizations, died Monday of cardiovascular disease at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. He was 85.

Mr. Ward, the son of a State Roads Commission worker and a homemaker, was born and raised in Crisfield.

After graduating from Crisfield High School in 1941, he was inducted into the Army. He served in Europe and the Pacific with an artillery unit.

At the end of World War II, he enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1950.

He earned a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1952 and, after passing the Maryland Bar a month later, established a general law practice on West Main Street in Crisfield with an emphasis on property law. In 1954, he was elected Somerset County state's attorney, a position he held until 1966.

Mr. Ward, who was a life member of the Maryland Bar Foundation and a member of the Maryland and Somerset County bar associations, retired from practice in 2004.

Long active in veterans, Masonic and community affairs in Crisfield, Mr. Ward was a longtime member and past president of the Crisfield Kiwanis Club and a member of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce.

He was a member of Somerset County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8274 and the American Legion Cochrane Post 16.

He was past master of the Chesapeake Masonic Lodge 147, and was a member of the Boumi Temple and the Eastern Shore Shrine Club. He was also a member of the Moose and Elks.

Active in Republican circles, Mr. Ward was a member of the Somerset County Republican Club and a former member of the Somerset County Republican Central Committee.

His past directorships included the Bank of Crisfield, Eastern Shore National Bank and Peninsula Bank. He also served on the board of Edward W. McCready Memorial Hospital in Crisfield.

"I've known him for 50 years, and he was very easygoing and sociable. Wade had been active in practically every local organization that was," said E. Scott Tawes, a Crisfield certified public accountant.

"He devoted a lot of his free time to charity and to folks that needed but couldn't afford a lawyer. That's just the way he was, and that's the way he ran his practice," he said. "He was a country lawyer, not your typical arrogant attorney."

Mr. Ward had played a pivotal role in obtaining a charter for the Crisfield Little League and had been chairman of the National Hard Crab Derby in the 1950s. He also had served as chairman for several years of the organization's annual parade.

Mr. Ward was an avid Orioles and Ravens fan, and enjoyed collecting porcelain figurines and Marylandia.

His wife of 30 years, the former Helen Sue Cox, a registered nurse who was the first female Somerset County commissioner, died in 1991.

Mr. Ward was a lifelong member of Immanuel United Methodist Church, where he had been administrative board chairman and a member of the Pastoral Parish Committee.

Services were held July 3 at his church.

Surviving are a son, Michael W. Ward; a brother, Russell Ward; and a sister, Jenny Lee Evans, all of Crisfield. Another son, James Walter Ward, died in infancy.

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