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Carl Edward Ward, 86, of Claremore, passed away on December 24, 2022 surrounded by his beloved wife and two sons, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Carl was born at home on September 20, 1936 to Fred and Artie Ward in Foyil. He was the oldest of six children – Carl, Jack, Dan, Wilma, Beulah, and Darryl.
After high school, Carl joined the Navy and faithfully served from 1955 to 1958. He served a tour of duty on the maiden voyage of the USS Saratoga as an aviation electrician’s mate 2nd class.
Carl met the love of his life, David Ann Graves, in Claremore in 1959. The two were married on November 23, 1961 and had 3 children, Debbie, Ted and Kemp.
Using the GI Bill, Carl attended Oklahoma Military Academy and later transferred to Oklahoma State University where he achieved a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1965.
After graduation, Dr. Ward returned to Claremore to begin his 40-year-long veterinary career. He was hired by prominent veterinarian, Dr. JC Cooper, to work at Claremore Veterinary Clinic. Later when Dr. Cooper was taken ill, Carl purchased the clinic and joined forces with his close friend and classmate, Dr. Tom Carter. As a large animal veterinarian, Carl was known far and wide, regularly answering middle-of-the-night calls to assist ranchers and farmers throughout Rogers county and beyond.
Carl had a reputation as an extremely honest person. He believed that if he gave his word, he should be willing to do anything possible to uphold that promise. Well-liked and personable, he rarely complained. He was truly a gentle man, and his children will tell you that they almost never saw him angry. It is fitting that he lived in Rogers county because his personality – a humble, soft-spoken man of integrity – was very similar to the one attributed to Will Rogers.
In the 1990s, Carl began working for the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission as the official racetrack veterinarian for the state. He retired from this position in 2007.
In addition to his veterinary career, Carl was active in the community serving as the vice-president and president of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association and president of the Rogers County Cattlemen’s Association. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Agricultural Committee, and he served on First Bank’s Board of Directors.
Carl and David Ann were entrepreneurs founding several companies. In 1972, Carl founded Carl Cattle Company and traveled to Italy to obtain specimens for breeding Chianina cattle. He and David Ann also owned a shoe store, restaurant, tanning salon, and car wash supply business.
As a man who enjoyed working hard, Carl pursued only a few hobbies. He hunted quail and enjoyed watching birds. He loved being out on his tractor and was always up for chatting on the porch or playing a card game at the kitchen table. More than anything, he loved spending time with his and David Ann’s family.
Carl was predeceased by his daughter Debbie Hughan. He is survived by his wife of 61 years David Ann, sons Ted (Wendi) and Kemp (Kim), nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
Services will be held at First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, January 4th at 11am.
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
First United Methodist Church
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