Tom Ward was born in Bitburg, Germany, to a military family. His parents were originally from Tiverton, Rhode Island, and Fall River, Massachusetts. Tom grew up in New England and spent time in the Philippines before his father was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. Northwest Louisiana is where Tom spent the rest of his childhood and where he would reside the majority of his life.
He went to Bossier High where he graduated with his high school diploma in 1974. He played football and basketball during his time in high school. He was a dedicated boy scout and earned the highest rank attainable by the organization as an eagle scout which he took great pride in.
Tom continued his education at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston where he studied mechanical engineering. During undergrad, Tom started riding motorcycles with his lifelong best friend, Joe Storey, and he sold bibles door-to-door. Once graduated, he started his career as a directional driller in Lafayette.
From there Tom worked around the world, usually on offshore oil rigs. He was employed with Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Shell. Tom valued all his coworkers and everyone he met throughout his time working in the oil and gas industry. Thanks to his illustrious career, Tom met his first wife Sandra Cardoso de Almeida in Brazil (with whom they had his only children, Mitchell and Kelly) and his second wife and current widow Maria Adeola Samuel during his time in Nigeria.
Tom was a curious person. He cherished education, other cultures, and friendly debate. He was fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and even knew a little bit of Arabic. Tom loved playing chess all his life until the very end. He was an avid cyclist, even biking to and from his home to Broadmoor Baptist Church for Spanish services during his final months. He loved to read.
He enjoyed playing golf for most of his life (his parents, and his mother in particular, were excellent golfers) and his daughter often acted as his caddy and tended his pins. He loved documentaries, especially those with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Tom loved watching football and basketball. He never had favorite teams other than LA Tech and LSU from he and his daughter’s alma maters; he just enjoyed watching a good game and the experience of watching a gifted athlete like Kobe Bryant or Joe Burrow. He was a talented singer and had a dry and blunt sense of humor. He believed in hard, passionate work and gave his all to his family.
Tom peacefully passed away on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 after being diagnosed with brain cancer in late December 2020. His daughter would like to thank his wife for being a devoted and affectionate caretaker. His family thanks all his doctors, nurses, and staff at Ochsner LSU Health Hospital and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Willis-Knighton Hospital, Riverview Care Center, and Lifepath Hospice. The family especially gives their greatest thanks and appreciation to Dr. Jessica Wilden and Dianna and Nikki of Lifepath Hospice.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Hank and Barbara Ward. He is survived by his loving wife, Adeola Samuel; his son and daughter Mitchell and Kelly Ward; his older sister, Judy Madden and brother-in-law Dr. Gary Madden; his nephew Brandon (wife Nataly and baby Banks) and niece Amanda Madden; his younger brother Dany and niece Danielle Ward; his younger sister Tegwin; his nephew Cody Haynes (Bayleigh, Kenzie, and Chloe); his niece Abie Filler (husband Adam and children Lila and Remie).