Celebrating the "Seasons of Life" of Bro. Benford Ward.
Benford Ward, affectionately known as "Ben" began his life's journey on October 13, 1933 in Huntsville, Alabama born to the late Peter and Ethel Ward. He was the second child of four children. Two of Ben's brothers, Edward and Alphonso preceded him in death.
Ben completed Council High School in Huntsville, Alabama and enrolled in Alabama A&M College, Normal, Alabama. Ben moved to Chicago in 1956. He was later united in holy matrimony to his childhood sweetheart Viola Powers on September 12, 1958. To this union they were blessed with an adorable son, Alphonso (Butch) Ward. Ben's beloved wife preceded him in death in 1991.
Ben had a passion for serving and helping others and he joined the US ARMY and received an honorable discharge as Staff Sargent (STE-E-5). After leaving the Army, Ben was employed by the Greyhound Bus Lines in 1964 as the first black driver. He worked 20 years until his retirement. There Ben received numerous commendations from passengers and awards from the Amalgamated Transit 1303, including a 20 year Safe Driving Award...quite an accomplishment that mad him so proud. As a union steward griever he was highly admired and respected as many work and safety improvements were achieved due to his serving and advocating for drivers. After retirement Ben also worked as a driver for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Ben found his spiritual home and committed his life to Jesus Christ at Covenant Faith (formerly Emerald Avenue) Church of God, under the leadership of Dr. Rev. E. Raymond Chin. Ben loved serving his church! He faithfully served as President of both the Men's and Greeter's Ministries.
Ben is also credited with organizing his 109th Street Block Club where many accomplishments were achieved working in partnership with the Chicago Alternative policing strategy known as C.A.P.S. Added to his accomplishments was his life time membership with Garden City Lodge #59.
Foremost, his greatest joy was serving and making his grandson Ryan, (the apple of Ben's eye) Happy!
God saw Ben's road was getting rough and limiting his ability to serve, so he gently transitioned him to his eternal home on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at 12 noon. His dedicated and loyal son and grandson, Alphonso (Butch) and Ryan respectively were present on his final day.
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