Baseball

Robert E Ward

October 14, 1931 ~ May 24, 2020 (age 88)

Obituary

     


WARD, Robert E. “Bob” of West Roxbury, lifelong resident of Boston, loving son to Clara and John
Ward on October 14, 1931, passed away peacefully at home on May 24, 2020, surrounded by his family.
Bob’s wife of 54 years, Marion (Resha) Ward, was at his side, as were his 6 children and spouses;
Susan Bukuras and husband Mark of Mansfield, Judith Graham and husband Christopher of West Roxbury,
Virginia Cassarino and husband Ari of Westwood, Jacqueline Barone and husband Michael of West
Roxbury, Robert John Ward of West Roxbury and Stephanie Saber and husband Stephen of Dover. Also
present were his 21 grandchildren. Bob was the youngest of four children, and was predeceased by
siblings Dorothy Ward-Fagrey, Pauline Nasif, and George Ward.

As an adolescent, Bob was a promising young baseball player and an avid life long Red Sox fan.
Beginning in his teenage years, Bob had accrued an amazing ability to draw and paint.  Often, he
would travel out on location, prop up his pallet and easel, and with a masterful display of
watercolors, capture nostalgic scenes throughout eastern Massachusetts, including the Holy Cross
Cathedral, the Boston Common, Nantasket Beach and Cape Cod. He became a locally-renowned artist,
and many of his paintings are hanging on the walls of homes in and around greater Boston and
beyond. After graduating from Tufts University in 1952, he went on to teach at English High School.
Later he was hired by Raytheon Company for the purpose, among other duties, of restructuring its
art department. Raytheon was soon taking a leading part in the design and manufacture of missiles
and other military hardwares, as well as playing a primary role in the rapidly evolving space
exploration program. In 1961, when President Kennedy announced that "America would land a man on
the moon within the next decade...", NASA soon contracted with Raytheon to play a major role in
Project Apollo - the name of the mission with a goal to land the first human on the moon. Among
Raytheon’s responsibilities were the structure and design of the Apollo space capsule. Bob, now a
30-year-old graphic artist and director of Raytheon’s Art Department, was commissioned to draw and
paint the first images of the Apollo spacecraft. Through the winter and spring months of 1962, Bob
carefully drew and painted, in accordance with design specifications of aviation engineers, the
first images of the Apollo spacecraft. Within days, his artwork was placed on the desk of President
Kennedy, who was both excited and deeply moved by the imagery of the Apollo spacecraft hurtling
through space. The President heartily approved, and personally expressed his gratitude to Bob and
others who were working so diligently on the project. Only weeks later, the same images were
published in newspapers worldwide as the
"artist's perception" of the Apollo spacecraft.

In addition to his work as the graphic artist behind Project Apollo, Bob also drew and painted the
first images of the Gemini spacecrafts, each manned with two astronauts, which voyaged into space
and circled the globe for several critical years during the 1960’s.

On November 14, 1965, Bob married the love of his life, Marion (Resha). The couple will forever be
remembered for their eloquent ballroom dancing. Raising a family of six children, Bob moved into
the Executive Offices of Raytheon Company and continued to teach evening classes at the Museum of
Fine Arts. As Raytheon Company became more involved in philanthropic pursuits, Bob assumed a
diverse role as an Executive Director. With his innovative ideas and exceptional creativity,
Raytheon Company benefitted from his revolutionary programs. Bob served as president on the boards
of many different institutions. He spearheaded countless campaigns for various organizations, such
as the U.S. Treasury and the United Way. He created outstanding campaigns and slogans, incorporated
unique ideas and engaged a wide range of well-known celebrities of that era to publicly co-


promote with him the United Way; among them Jimmy Cagney, Donny and Marie Osmond, Bob Hope, Dolly
Parton, Marvin Hagler, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Bennett, Jim Henson & the Muppets, Jerry Lewis, Joan
Rivers and many, many others. Fund-raising achieved record levels during Bob’s leadership, and
numerous charities benefited.

Bob was an avid runner. He implemented the first ever corporate running program, which gave many
runners from all socioeconomic levels the opportunity to compete at the highest level of
competition. Under his leadership, Raytheon quickly rose to the top spots of Competitive Corporate
Running, winning numerous racing competitions and several multiple national championships - all the
while promoting cardiac health among all Americans.

Bob was also a man of great faith, and actively involved throughout his lifetime in his Church, Our
Lady of the Cedars (Jamaica Plain). Bob’s work can be seen throughout the Church, as he has created
numerous portraits, and his sketches and drawings have been instrumental in designing the many
statues and stained glass windows.

When his grandchildren began to play sports, Bob’s life took on new meaning. “Pa” attended every
game from the season’s start to finish, taking pride in watching his grandchildren participate in
their favorite sports. He was a frequent presence and their number one fan at all of their athletic
complexes where everyone knew Pa and became his friend. Pa was the pinnacle for all of his 21
grandchildren. He leaves behind his legacy Andrew, Matthew, Joseph and Anissa Bukuras; Christopher,
Victoria, Stephen, and Zachary Graham; Sabrina, Amanda, Jason and Thomas Cassarino; Michael, David,
Ryan and Samantha Barone; Robert, John, Stephen, Stetson and Christina Saber.

In October of 2016, Bob’s 85th birthday was celebrated by his family who organized an Art Exhibit
in his honor. Gathering from near and far all of Bob’s original paintings that were given as gifts,
as well as the ones that adorned his family home, a multitude of his greatest works were displayed
at a local Art Gallery and enjoyed by several hundred family members, friends, and former
colleagues.

Despite the many accomplishments in his life, Bob was overall a very humble and kind man. His life
exemplified true love, humility, forgiveness, dedication to his family and devotion to his faith.

In Bob’s memory donations may be made to Our Lady of Cedars of Lebanon Church, 61 Rockwood
Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

 

                                                    

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