Robert Roy Ward was an identical twin, a natural performer with a built in audience. His twin, Keith Joseph Ward (d. 2013), played his comedic straight man. He taught himself saxophone and became an early founder of the Ottawa community concert band in the 60’s and 70’s. He played several instruments while brother Keith played the piano.
He made up nicknames for his children based on their first words like “Ginglesplocke”, and “Pornipumple”. He named a family dog “Monty the Kangaroo”. He called his mother, “Granny Chick” Every spring our family played host to the “Easter Beaster”.
He drove the countryside, photographed, and talked to any cow, horse or chicken that he met on the way. A hobby videographer, he documented his favourite subjects: the Rocky Mountains, and the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto.
He moved the family to Bonnyville, Alberta in 1975 to start a music studio and store. Later, he toured the Alberta backwoods playing bass guitar for “Buck Swan and the Desperadoes”.
He worked in the Arctic oil patch while raising his two youngest children. He helped evacuate the Beaufort sea oil platform during a terrible storm. When computers became part of every household, he bought a Commodore 64, and taught himself to write code.
He brewed nasty moonshine with his friend Harry, swore like crazy whenever he had to build or fix anything, bought several dysfunctional vehicles, and made sludge for coffee. He mastered the art of shoving enormous clumpy office furniture into a tiny room. He ate all the Christmas candies before the family arrived. He never refused syrupy cream filled treats, and loved the most obnoxious substance known to earth: creamed corn.
After mom passed, his birthplace Toronto, loomed large in his soul finally calling him back east.
While still living in Alberta, he lobbied the city of Toronto to improve housing conditions for poor seniors as well as going door to door in support of beloved politician, Jack Layton, during the 2008 campaign. He returned to Toronto several times to help out family, make new friends, and soak up the hometown vibes before moving to Oshawa in the final years.
Dad gifted his children with a strong vein of creativity streaked through with a touch of eccentricity for which we are all thankful.
Robert Roy Ward father to : Cynthia Ward, Terry Chun (Allan), Leanne Lengagne (Christophe), Stacey Ward (Gal), Candice Ward, and Robert Ward as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Predeceased by his wife Florence Agnes Ward (August 2016) as well as by his parents Ivy Adelaide Ward, William Knox Ward, Samuel John Knox Ward(Jack), Annabelle Grace Levick (Aileen), and his identical twin Joseph Keith Ward.
The memorial service will be held May 21, 2024 at the Pine Hills Cemetery & Funeral Centre 625 Birchmount Rd Toronto, Ontario M1K 1R1
In lieu of flowers, we would like to honour our father’s kindness to his less fortunate neighbours. Donations can be made to The Back Door Mission, 66 Simcoe St S, Oshawa.: https://www.backdoormission.ca/donations.html.