George Gene Ward, known to all as Gene, left this Earth Thursday, August 27, 2020 to ride the ranges in Heaven.
Anyone who has known Gene will remember his brilliant blue eyes and infectious smile. But most of all his big heart. He lived with a great code of ethics: Be kind. Work hard. Love big. Chase your dreams!
Gene was born February 4, 1941, on a farm near Seiling, Oklahoma. His parents were Charles Merrill (Bill) Ward and Reva Louise Floyd. Gene attended high school in Seiling, where he was quite the athlete, competing and lettering in all high school sports. He graduated in 1959. After high school, he spent six months in the Army Reserve in California. He returned to Seiling where he opened several businesses such as the Shamrock Cafe, a barber shop and a gas station.
Gene married Kathie Koehn Morrison February 4, 1966. The couple had two daughters, Gena Ward and Jodi Ward. Later they divorced.
Gene was a workaholic. He worked his own businesses, but always had time to help others. He always went above and beyond to make customers happy, and never turned anyone down who needed help.
Gene worked for Sander Trucking Company, and later co-owned the company with Jerry Sander. When Jerry retired, Gene bought the business. In 1976, Gene and Jerry founded S&W Oil, which they operated together for many years. He later worked for Chesapeake Energy, owned by his nephew Tom Ward.
Gene made Seiling his home. His love for the cowboy way of life and roping prompted him to build the Flying W Arena on his property in 1985. Gene was one of the founders of the Seiling Round Up Club, and served as it’s first President. In 1986, the club hosted the first open rodeo. The annual event grew in popularity each year, becoming one of the top PRCA pro rodeos on the northwest circuit.
Gene married Connie Conrad in 1994 in Oklahoma City, OK. Connie had two daughters, Kim and Kamber.
Gene’s last occupation was working for PPS Trucking, managing the Seiling yard. He retired in 2016, and the couple moved to Webb City, MO.
Even though many hours were spent working, Gene and Connie found time to trail ride with their horses, camp, travel and site-see across the country. When they got too old to ride their horses, Gene switched to riding side-by-sides. He was always adventurous. Gene loved to play golf, hunt with friends, rope and spend time with family. He made many road trips to watch his grandchildren play sports, show horses and rodeo.
Gene is survived by his wife Connie of the home; a sister Charlene Seidel (Ray) Hanover Park, IL; daughters Gena Ward, Gotebo, OK; Jodi Ward, Sapulpa, OK; Kim Gunn (Barry), Jones, OK; Kamber Smith (Mark) Joplin, MO. Six grandchildren: Tripp and Sterling Lee, Garrett and Karsyn Gunn, Tatum and Talyn Smith, along with numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Dean and Joseph, and one sister Darlene.
Funeral services were Monday, August 31 at the Flying W Arena in Seiling, OK. Burial followed in Brumfield Cemetery in Seiling.
Pallbearers are Sterling Lee, Tripp Lee, Garrett Gunn, Tate Smith, Bryce Ward and Brody Ward.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made to the Brumfield Cemetery in care of the funeral home (Box 236, Seiling, OK 73663)