Dr. Arthur W. Ward was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 31, 1922. He enrolled at Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (now Pittsburg State University). His undergraduate study was interrupted by military service, with enlistment in April of 1942 into the U.S. Army Air Corps to become a fighter pilot. He served as an “Aviation Cadet Fighter Pilot Trainee” at Tuskegee Institute and Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, flying such planes as the AT-6, PT-17, BT-13, P-40, therefore, he is a Documented Original Tuskegee Airman (DOTA) (1). He is a part of the collective group of Congressional Gold Medal of Honor recipients known as the Tuskegee Airmen. From May 1944-February 1945, He served in the Philippine Islands. Upon discharge he resumed his education and earned the Bachelor of Science degree in June, 1948 and the Master of Science degree in 1949 in Industrial Education, both from Kansas State Teachers College.
Dr. Ward and his wife both accepted teaching positions on the faculty of Garfield High School, in Mexico, Missouri. He assumed multiple teaching responsibilities as an Industrial Arts and Drivers Education Instructor, in addition to teaching Photography and serving as Head Basketball Coach. In his final year at Garfield, he was Coordinator of the Diversified Occupations Program.
In 1955, Dr. Ward received a Letter from Southern University asking him to join the faculty as a Professor in the Industrial Education Department. During his time at Southern University, he took an academic leave in I971-73 to complete the Doctorate Program at Indiana University-Bloomington. His dissertation title was “Characteristics of Instructional Personnel of Industrial Teacher Education Programs in Traditionally Black Institutions”.
During his years as a professor, he authored many articles for publications and journals in Industrial and Vocational Education. Dr. Ward retired from Southern University in 1990. He was a life member of the American Council on Industrial Arts Teacher Education and a member of the American Vocational Association. Dr. Ward served as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Scotlandville in Louisiana and was a professional photographer.
In 1999, Dr. Ward and his wife, Eunice relocated to Florissant, Missouri to be near two of their daughters. He was the guest speaker at many events in the St. Louis Metropolitan area about his aviation experience. He was the main speaker at the 2007 Veterans Day Program at the John Cochran Veterans Hospital in St. Louis.
Dr. Ward passed on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at the age of 94. Arthur was a loving husband, encouraging father and great teacher to many.
He leaves to cherish his memory: Daughters: Deborah S. Ward; Joyce Renee Ward Brooks (John), of St. Louis, Missouri and Granddaughters: Carmen Renee and Leah Victoria Brooks of Chicago, Illinois.
He was predeceased by wife, Eunice Mae and middle daughter, Jo Beatrice Ward.
To hear him speak:
Arthur Wilbur Ward Collection: Veterans History Project (American Folk life Center, Library of Congress)