After a long battle with COPD and dementia, Kenneth O'dell Ward departed this life on February 4, 2022. Known for his gentle good humor and kindness, Ken never met a stranger. Although he left the Hagerman area for several years to pursue schooling and careers in electric sales, he returned in the 90's and established a successful and much-loved grocery store, Kenny's Market. There he reveled in his community and the connection of life-long friendships.
Born on July 14, 1949, to young parents Ken and Naomi Ward, Kenny thrived in the Hagerman Schools. As a high schooler, he lived for basketball and connection with friends. In college he developed deep friendships with his fraternity brothers in Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Eastern New Mexico University, where he received his Bachelor of Business Degree in 1972. He loved his childhood friends to the end and maintained so many connections with them and other friends he met along the way until dementia robbed him of communication skills.
The oldest of four children, Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Ken and Naomi, and by his precious younger sister Retta. Ken is survived by his sister Angie Ward Pratt (Richard) and nieces Carly and Caitlyn Pratt; his sister Priscilla Ward Lowery (Brent) and nephew Kurt Lowery and nieces Jillian and Kami Lowery. Additionally, he is survived by Retta's children: niece Lauren Stapp Dowzard and nephew Alec Stapp.
Because of Covid and the cold weather, a celebration of Ken's life will occur in the spring when we hope friends and family from near and far can gather to celebrate his remarkable life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests making a donation to The American Alzheimer's Association in Ken's name if you wish to do so.
Ken's quality of life was greatly enhanced and facilitated by his precious friends and caregivers, Dilly and Lawrence Brady. They took wonderful care of him, loved him, and allowed him to be home until the very end. The family would also like to recognize Jessica Ortega for her gentle medical care and support over these last few years.