On November 20, 2020, Robert Charles “Bobby” Ward passed away peacefully at his home in Chesapeake, Va.
He was born September 16, 1948 in Albemarle County, the son of the late Robert T. Ward and Anna Crain Ward. Bobby was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Pugh Ward, his in-laws Gordon and Lucille Pugh, his brother Eugene H. Ward, his brothers-in-law George “Eddie” Pugh, Bobby Lee Pugh, and his sister-in-law, Robin SimcoxWard. He was a resident of Free-Union and Crozet, until 2019 when he moved to his current residence in Chesapeake to be closer to family.
He is survived by his son, Steven R. Ward and his daughter-in-law, Erin LinsleyWard of Cincinnati, Ohio and his three grandchildren, Alex, Kaitlyn and Aiden; his daughter Sherry Lynn (Ward) Grochmaland his son-in-law Neil E. Grochmal of Virginia Beach, and his “grand-kitties,” Charcole, Luna, Troubles, Beanie Baby and Flerken. He is also survived by his sister Beverly Ann Barnett (Lewis) of Crozet and his brother John Frederick Ward of Mt. Holly New Jersey, his brothers-in-law, Douglas Pugh (Brenda) of Crozet, Charles “Mike” Pugh of Greenwood, Donald Wayne Pugh of New Canton, Virginia, Ronnie W. Pugh of Crozet, Jeffrey A. Pugh (Tammy) of Crozet and a host of beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Bobby was a life member of the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department, serving actively for over 20 years. He held several leadership positions during his time there, including serving as the department’s Chief from 1980-81. Among other things, he directed the rebuild of the entire pump system on the department’s 1937 Ford Model AA fire engine in the 1970’s, was a part of the selection committee for numerous pieces of apparatus in the 70’s and 80’s, and drafted the original architectural drawings of the department’s current building on Route 240 in Crozet from sketches made on a Crozet Pizza box top by himself, V.L James, Jr., Roger Baber and others late one night in the early 1980’s. During the mid-1980’s, he was recognized by the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad with an award of appreciation for his service to the squad, responding from his home to drive the ambulance on night-time calls when the squad was low on members.
Bobby was also known for his work as a mechanic, welder and master electrician. One of his first jobs was at the old Gulf Service Station. It was there that he met his wife, Linda Ann Pugh, who lived across the street behind the Crozet United Methodist Church. They were married for 33 years. He held other jobs, and retired from the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority after 27 years of service as a Master Electrician and Mechanic IV in September of 2014.
Most notably, Bobby served his country in the United States Army from March 1968 until his honorable discharge in March 1970, including service in combat during the Vietnam War. In 1970, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his “rapid assessment and solution of numerous problems inherent in a combat environment [that] greatly enhanced the allied effectiveness against a determined and aggressive enemy.” He was commended for “his loyalty, diligence and devotion to duty [which were] in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”
Bobby was a hardworking man, often working his full-time job all day, and then all evening in his self-owned welding and mechanical repair business. His hard work ethic is reflected, today, in the success of his children, his son in medicine and his daughter in veterinary medicine.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 696, Crozet, VA 22932; Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, Inc., P.O. Box 188, Crozet, VA 22932; Midway Veterinary Hospital Dizzy Fund (https://bit.ly/3nSWNSn).