Charles T. "C.T."Ward Jr., 60, formerly of Westfield, died on September 4, 2018, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho from pneumonia and other health complications. He was born on June 19, 1958, in Rodriguez Army Hospital, in El Morro Castle in Old San Juan, PR to Helen Klein Ward and Charles Ward. CT's father was assigned to the Navy Medical Corps in Sabana Seca, PR. The family returned to the US in 1961. Charles attended St. Michael Grammar School in Elizabeth, then Holy Trinity School, after the family moved to Westfield in 1968. With the move, CT was able to enjoy playing in a carefree neighborhood on a cul-de-sac with his new friends. He liked going to the nearby tree park, and the empty lot on the block. He also took up golfing at Scotch Hills Country Club, and skated at Mindowaskin and Brightwood Ponds. He and his family were members of the Westfield YMCA. CT loved to be affirmed for his successes as he became involved in many activities, and learned many new skills. Some of these activities included the Cub Scouts, The Boy Scouts, the St. Paul Episcopal Church Boys Choir, where he sang at the 10AM Sunday service, and Holy Trinity Catholic Church where he was an altar server at the Sunday 12 Noon Mass. CT studied the Suzuki Violin training method with Paul Somers. He competed with the Y swimming, and gymnastics teams. He took up Karate, and also played baseball, football, and basketball through the Westfield Recreation department, and Holy Trinity School. CT loved hiking and camping. He hiked the Appalachian Trail in NJ, and fishing and canoeing on Paupackan Lake in the Poconos. There were influential many people in young Charles' life, including Art Downer, a neighbor, who taught him and his friends how to photograph the night sky with his Hasselblad cameras with telescopes. CT's great grandfather Klein was an amateur photographer in Luzerene County, PA. Due to undiagnosed glaucoma, his vision deteriorated, but could still photograph with special camera equipment. This requires a disciplined life style, enormous patience, and outstanding technical ability. He had the uncanny ability to see interesting relationships between the common objects in nature. Being legally blind he saw light and the blurred lines that define the form of his photos. He sought out dramatic light and shapes that represent his photos. When he moved to California he took advantage of the extraordinary Western landscapes. He was deeply rooted to the land in the tradition of classical landscape photography. Later in Idaho he spent hours fishing on the Salmon and Snake Rivers which were close to his home. With his visual disability, Charles was qualified to submit his photographs to juried art exhibits. Active with the Bay Area Camera clubs, CT's photographic art was in demand and with much initiative he had remarkable sales of his work in San Francisco, San Mateo, Philadelphia, and in Malvern, PA. His work appeared in the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1999 and 2004 through the sponsorship of the Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Handicapped. His work also appeared for a year at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Charles' work appeared in other venues and private collections in NY, CA, CT, NJ, Utah, Florida, Georgia, and the Philadelphia suburbs including a 10 year period in the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern, PA. His photo titled "Twilight Flight" appeared in 2006 Bank of America calendar. His many visits to the exhibits in Philadelphia were meaningful to affirm his success. He was at his very best artistically, as his mother Helen enjoyed sharing his success with others. Charles had a large supportive and close knit family which formed his character, resilience, and tenacity. He was taught the importance of family, friends, neighbors, the concern for others, and the enjoyment of the precious gift of life. Charles was preceded in death by his father: Charles T. Ward Sr., his uncle Edward Klein, and his aunt Marilyn Waterbor. He is survived by his mother: Helen, five siblings: Mark and his wife Kay of Stamford, CT, James and his wife Monica from Bethlehem,PA, Susan Pawlinski and husband Alan of Lockport, NY, Heidi Pauls of Lockport,NY, Edward Klein and his wife Cheryl of Scotch Plains, nieces and nephews: Mark, Brandon, Christopher, Helena, Joey, Nicholas, Samantha, Dakota, Nathan, and Sarah. He also survived by aunts and uncles, and cousins in the Ward and Klein families. The family is grateful for the friends, professionals, and empathetic and skilled hospital staff in Boise, ID, who were updated on Charles' condition as went through his illness.
Private services were held on September 27, 2018 at the columbarium of Fairview Cemetery, Westfield. Music played at the service included: Mozart's Requiem "Dies Irae", and Puccini's "Nessun dorma" from Turandot. Arrangements were by Gray Funeral Home, Westfield. Please go to: www.grayfuneralhomes.com to view Charles life tribute and photos. To see Charles' photographic gallery, please go to: www.flickr.com/photos/ctward. Memorial contribtions may be made in his memory to the: Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 1500 Spring Garden St., Suite 230, Phila, PA 19130, or the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, which sponsors the annual Art Ability Exhibit and Sale, 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA 19355, or to a charity of one's choice.