Obituary, John William Ward

John William Ward, 67, a longtime resident of Stanfordville, NY, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, February 16, 2024 at his home. Mr. Ward was a precision toolmaker for Dorsey Gauge in Poughkeepsie, NY before retiring in 2021.

Born on May 27, 1956 in Cold Spring, NY, he was the son of the late John Ellis Ward, Jr. and Beverly Jean (Jones) Ward O’Dell. After graduation from Dover High School, he joined the US Army. While in the army, he married his high school sweetheart, Paula Ross, on February 14, 1976. Upon discharge, he joined the US Army Reserves (854th Engineer Battalion) from which he retired as a Sergeant First Class with 27 years of service. He stayed in contact with his reservist buddies.

Over the years, Mr. Ward pursued several active and outdoor sports including racket ball, running races, kayak racing, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and cycling. He was an avid cyclist and a long-time member of Mid-Hudson Bicycle Club. In the past, he was a member on Randonneurs USA, completed the 1200K randonnée from Boston to Montreal to Boston, and he continued to ride long events for several years. He achieved his 3500 Club goal by hiking all the required Catskills peaks in the winter. He also enjoyed fishing and was an avid deer hunter. Other hobbies included reading, photography, cutting fire wood, metal and wood projects around the house, spending time with his family, and playing ball with his dog, Birdie.

He is survived by his loving wife, Paula Ward; his son, John-Paul William Ward (Tivoli, NY) and partner, Veronica Stork; grandson, Ronin William Sword; Ronin’s siblings, Keith, Ciara, and Chloe Mort; and sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Michael Howard of Merrill, ME. He is also survived by three sisters, Linda (and Richard) Darvid of Port Ewen, NY, Karen Perry, and Charlene Ward-Lee; his Uncle Walter and Aunt Dolores Ward of Highland Falls, NY; several nieces, nephews, great nephews, great nieces, and many friends.

Calling hours will be 3:00-5:00 PM on Friday, February 23, 2024 at the Hufcut Funeral Home, 3159 Route 22, Dover Plains, NY. The funeral service will follow at 5 PM at the funeral home. A military burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at Clove Cemetery, Clove Road, Lagrangeville, NY. Memorial contributions can be made to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association (,, or For directions or to send the family a condolence, please visit

Author: Harlem Valley News