October 20, 1950 – February 18, 2019
Loving husband, cherished dad, treasured grandpa. The oldest son of Liz and Ike Ward, Ric was born in Ord, Nebraska on October 20, 1950. He attended Wahoo High School, Kennedy College in Wahoo, and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming. He helped out on his grandfather’s family farm in Brock, Nebraska during the summers.
On May 20, 1978, Ric was united in marriage to Debbie Kay Micek. To this union one daughter, Mikayla, was born. Ric worked at Majers Marketing Research where he met Debbie Kay. They moved to Colona, IL, where he worked for John Deere. The family moved back to Omaha, living in Hanscom Park for over twenty years. Ric spent most of his career at CSG. Their next home was Westside where Ric enjoyed renovating a 1950s home and listening to the Westside High marching band from his deck, which he rebuilt.
He loved history. The next adventure after Ric retired was to renovate a 1983 Fleetwood Tioga. The first year Ric and Debbie Kay put over 7000 miles on the camper (Maybelle). His favorite campsite was at Cottonwood by Yankton, SD. They were often joined by Mikayla and their two grandsons, Nik and Nathaniel. Ric attended the boys’ events, whether sports or music concerts.
Along the way Ric attended cat shows and was the show entry manager for many years. Later, dog agility trials, a little closer to home, were the next venture Debbie Kay dragged Ric into. Ric was a member of the Henry Doorly Zoo Photography Club, and many of the excursions into National Parks were to photograph the beauty of nature. Their travels took them from Denali to Grand Tetons to Death Valley, with several parks in between. Ric so enjoyed Nik and Nathaniel and being very much a part of their lives. One of his last trips was to Disney with his family, where he let the boys ride his scooter.
He was preceded in death by parents, Ike and Liz Ward and sister, Leslie Renee Ward. He is survived by his wife, Debbie Kay; daughter, Mikayla Spore; grandsons, Nik and Nathaniel; brothers, Scott and Greg; and other relatives and many friends.
The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 22nd from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, Feb. 23rd at 10am at Christ the King Catholic Church, 654 S. 86th St. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to University of South Dakota, U.S. National Park Service, or Henry Doorly Zoo.
Ric was a great colleague and a good friend to everyone. My prayers are with him and all of his family at this difficult time.
Debbie Kay and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers,
Nebraska Department of Labor
Ric will be missed. Know that even though your family here on the East Coast can’t be there you are in our thoughts and prayers.
My deepest and most sincere sympathies to you and your family. Wishing you all comfort in this time of sorrow.
Dear Debbie Kay, I am so sorry to hear of Ric’s passing. Sending much love to you from Atlanta. Jennifer