In Memory

Jonathon James Ward

Jonathon "Jon" Ward

May 25, 1953 — January 27, 2023

Appleton, Wisconsin

On the morning of January 27, 2023, Jonathon Ward of Appleton passed away unexpectedly at the age of 69. Jon was born in 1953 to Donald and Norma Ward. He graduated from Dearborn High in 1971, and went on to earn his Bachelors Degree in Education from Wayne State University in 1979, and Masters equivalency in School Counseling in 1992 from Towson State University. His chosen career of teaching included five years with Milwaukee Public schools and 30 years with Baltimore City Public Schools. He retired in 2015.

In 1981 he met Michael Berndt, with whom he spent over 40 years. They moved from Milwaukee to Baltimore in 1985, marrying in Baltimore in 2013, and returned to Wisconsin in 2021.

Jon loved getting together with family and old friends, and meeting new people. In addition to daily crossword puzzles, he was an avid reader of travel writers. His music tastes ranged from Motown to blues and opera. Much of his spare time was devoted to gardening and biking around town, as well as cooking up a variety of world cuisines in the kitchen.

His love of animals led him to work with animal rescue groups in the Mid-Atlantic area. He was a geography buff and preferred to drive the back roads when traveling. Favorite vacations for Jon include New Orleans, Mexico, Canada, and anytime he could get two weeks at a lakeside cottage in Maine or Wisconsin.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Tom (TJ), and brother-in-law Larry Zbanek. He is survived by his spouse, Michael, his sister Donna (Zbanek), siblings-in-law, cousins, several nieces and nephews, and his Basset hounds, Gabriel and Pookie.

A memorial gathering will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, Jon’s family asks donations please be made to their local animal shelter.

Jon’s family would like to thank the caregivers at Ascension St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Appleton for the compassion and care they showed to Jon and Mike during this difficult time.



DHS 1971 Pioneer Year Senior Year picture - Fall 1970


DHS 1970 Pioneer Yearbook Junior Year picture - Fall 1969

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01/31/23 10:47 AM #1    

Patricia Brown (Wolfe)

I have many wonderful memories of hanging out with you John. A good soul, with a big heart, who always made me laugh. A wonderful man who kept me going when life at home was pretty rough. I will miss you, but you will always remain alive in my mind, for the rest of my days. Thank you for the lifetime of good memories you gave me. You made a difference in my life and I want to thank you.

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