All - It with the heaviest of hearts that I write to report that Benjamin F Ward, Jr died at 7:23 pm on December 14, 2013. Our beloved Ben died peacefully and was surrounded by his friends - his "family" during this past time of struggle. Beethoven had just finished and the next piece had just started - Richard Strauss' "Fruehling," one of Ben's favorites. .
While I grieve for the loss of the friendship I have enjoyed all these years, I also rejoice the loss of pain and suffering for Benjamin. When the doctors asked recently if he was sad as they noticed his tears, he remarked that he wasn't sad, but "pleased that I'll be remembered well." I know I speak for many when I say that my memories are good and lasting. I'm sure I'll be telling Ben stories for many years to come.
I'm sure it will surprise no one to know that I have been able to arrange many of the details concerning how we recognize Ben's amazing life. Benjamin left some guidance, but we have filled in the blanks where that was needed in a manner which respects his wishes. I'm sure it will come as no surprise that the celebration of Ben's life will take a form you are likely not to have seen before. If you have questions, please contact me. Here's what you need to know:
Memorial contributions can be made to The Benjamin F Ward Endowment for the Arts at Duke University. Here is the link to contribute: www.gifts.duke.edu Click the link that reads: "Add an unlisted designation" Type in: Fund Code: 615-9006.
Gifts of time in honor of Ben would be graciously appreciated by Urban Ministries in Durham, or the non-profit of your choice.
A small, private burial service will be held at a date and time yet to be determined.
A Service of Remembrance to which all are invited is scheduled for Saturday, January 18, 2014 in Duke Chapel on Duke University's West Campus. It will begin promptly at 3:00 pm.
A Reception of Remembrance to which all are invited shall take place immediately following the service in the chapel. The Reception will be held at the Penn Pavilion on Duke Univeristy's West Campus, within walking distance of the chapel.
In an effort for everyone to share in the incredible legacy of Ben's life, written messages and pictures can be posted to www.benwardtribute.com.