Ward, Thomas Wilbur Born November 25th, 1928 at Torrance Memorial Hospital to Roland and Josephine L. Ward. Tom grew up in El Segundo and Hawthorne, graduating from Mount Carmel High School in 1946. He married in 1951 and worked for the Beverly Hills Fire Department where he retired in 1988 after 35 years of service. He lived in Torrance for the past 50 years and was a devoted member of Saint James Catholic Church. On April 19, 2007 after a brief illness, Tom left this earth peacefully to join our Lord. He was surrounded by his loving wife and all of his children, some of their spouses and 2 grandchildren at Little Company of Mary Hospital. Tom leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Dorene, his children Tom (Jill), Karen Henderson (Steve), Barbara Vatalaro (Ralph), Stacie Voss (Jim), Robert (Shannon), Kristina Marckstadt (Ken), Sharon, Mary, Michael (Amy) and Heidi (Victor), 21 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Tom also left behind his brothers Robert and Donald, his sister Marjorie and numerous nieces and nephews. Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and a friend to many he will be missed very much, but will remain in our hearts forever. May the Lord and the Angels be waiting for him with arms wide open. Rosary service and viewing will take place on Thursday, April 26th, 7pm to 9pm at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA. Funeral will be held at St. James Church, 415 Vincent Street, Redondo Beach on Friday, April 27th at 10:30am. Burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation at

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  1. I have lived across the street from the Ward family for the majority of my 34 years. I will hold close to my heart many fun memories of going to the soap box derby races and engaging in family style dinners at the Ward home. Mr. Ward was a family man that always welcomed me into his home and was such a friendly and up beat sole, I will truly miss my afternoon wave to him as I come and go. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. My family and I are here for the Ward’s if you need anything, please don’t hesitate. May all of you cherish the wonderful years you had with Tom.

  2. Dear Dorene and family, Shirley and I wanted you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Tom will certainly be missed, he was a wonderful man and we always enjoyed seeing him at St. James ( we shook hands going down the center aisle) and at West High soccer games. Our love goes out to all of you. Shirley and Bob Krumpe

  3. I hadn’t had the good fortune to work closely with Tom very often in the short time we were together at the department. My recollections of him were of a giving, honorable gentleman of deep strength, quiet conviction and admirable character. This video tells Tom’s story of a life well lived and is evidence how one man can influence the world around him. His legacy will live on through his children and their childrens children. My condolences for your pain at his loss, but I know in time your love for him and pride in him will salve the pain and he will live on in your hearts. May your Lord be with you all.

  4. Doreen & Family, I met Tom on the job at the Beverly Hills Fire Department. He was one of the veterans when I came on in 1978 and for as long as we worked together he always impressed me with his size. The size of: his love for his family, his pride in being a great dad, his dedication to family activities, his openess to share and invite others to enjoy his children with him, his gentle strength, his acepting humble respectfulness, and the size of his example of a life well lived. It is never easy when a loved one returns to where they have come from. I celebrate with you Tom’s life and will always feel grateful to have known him and seen his huge example of loving acceptance.

  5. On behalf of the entire Beverly Hills Fire Department please accept our most sincere condolences on the passing of Thomas – his career work has saved many lives and his legacy will live forever in the Beverly Hills Fire Department. Dale T. Geldert Fire Chief Beverly Hills Fire Department

  6. Dear Dorene and family. Our deepest condolences to you. Tom was obviously loved so much as is evident from the video tribue. He was the gentle giant at the Fire Station. I recall many a night down in the shop when he would patiently fine-tune the wheels for the latest soap box derby car. He always talked about his family, so proud yet humble in his praise. His life was obviously full, God bless you Tom.

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