Larry Neill Ward, of Charleston, passed on August 23, 2021 in Charleston, SC at the age of 86. He lived an incredible life and will be remembered as a husband, father and decorated Marine Corps Colonel. In recent years, he faced his final battles with serious medical issues with a smile, displaying his lifelong courage in facing challenges. Larry was preceded in death by his mother, Doris (“Dot”), father, William (“Willy”), and younger brother, Robert. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nina, sons, Kevin and David, his sister, Peggy, and her husband, Billy. Born in 1934 in Winston-Salem, NC, Larry met his wife, Nina, there while in elementary school. Theirs was a romance that could not be denied. Though time and distance separated them after their youthful acquaintance, they reconnected in the early 1950’s, eventually married in 1956, and recently celebrated their 65th Anniversary. The same year that he married Nina, Larry became a proud graduate of The Citadel’s class of 1956, and enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1957 and served his country over an illustrious career, where he found himself part of many historic events, including being among the first USMC forces in the 1965 landing at Red Beach in Da Nang, Vietnam. He went on to complete three 13-month tours during the conflict in Vietanam. He was commissioned as a full bird Colonel in July 1979 and served his career with duty and love of country until his retirement in 1984. His military career includes tours of duty in Newport News, VA as an Inspector/Instructor for the stations Marine Corps Reserve Unit. Among his duties weighed the responsibility to serve as the Casualty Notification Officer, traveling the region to personally notify family and loved ones of fatalities throughout the Vietnam War. It was a part of his career he noted with great honor and never forgot. He also oversaw programs as head of the Ordnance School at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, VA, followed by an assignment as the Executive Officer, NROTC Unit, The Citadel, then on to Parris Island, SC, where he was Chief of Staff, G3 for the base before being transferred to Okinawa, Japan. In Japan, he served as military liaison between the local government and the historic Okinawa US Marine Corps base. Larry was a Marine through and through. He embodied “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” carrying all he had learned and experienced into his civilian life until his passing. His loves included Gunny, his German Shephard, and Meow, his feral cat. His love of bluegrass music was well known. He would often pull into the driveway blaring it from the radio for all to enjoy, so much so that it became his calling card. He was a pure leader and a man of many talents. He took on numerous ventures after his retirement from the Marines, becoming an entrepreneur who renovated historic homes in downtown Charleston, SC, showcasing his amazing focus on detail. Larry Ward had many friends and was a friend to many. He would personally sacrifice without hesitation. If you were a friend of Larry Ward, he took care of you. Anyone who ever met him knew… Larry Ward was a Great Man and the Ultimate Marine. A celebration of Larry’s life will be held at a later date. The family asks that gifts be made in his honor to the Wounded Warriors Project or to a local animal shelter or humane society. Arrangements by James A. McAlister, Inc. (843) 766-1365.
Posted in: Post and Courier
Posted on: 2021-09-06
Link to original obituary: https://obits.postandcourier.com/us/obituaries/charleston/name/larry-ward-obituary?pid=200035359