Murphy Funeral Homes


James Ross Ward Jr.

January 17, 1952December 30, 2020

We are saddened by the unexpected passing of Jim Ward of Arlington, VA on December 30th 2020. Jimmy, as he was affectionately known by friends and family, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, but lived all over the country as a Navy junior. He had a successful swimming career in his youth. Jimmy excelled in the butterfly, winning the New England Championship in 1963: and establishing a long-standing championship record. Jim graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in 1971 and from Tusculum College in 1977. He then accomplished a successful 30-year real estate career with with Better Homes Realty, in their Dominion Hills office.

Jim, in his retirement, was still an avid swimmer and hiker and he loved his daily half-mile swims, and hikes all around Arlington. He had an admirable green thumb, and was known for cultivating impressive hibiscus flowers and legendary tomato plants. He spent the last 15 years as a prolific writer, publishing several works of literature including Irish Luck, Indian Island, Wicked Habits, Jaguar Jungle, Weather War and La Matadora, a collection of poems. A sixth publication will be released later this year.

Jim was also a very enthusiastic supporter of youth sports, attending every game, meet, race, and many, many practices his daughters participated in. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the W-L Crew Team & Boosters at He was a supporter of W-L Crew, even attending regattas and team practices, well after his time as a parent and booster.

We are already missing Jim’s affection, sense of humor, and vivid story-telling. He is survived by his daughter Jessica Ward and her fiancé Greg Monin; daughter Carrie Smith, her husband Kevor Smith, and son Kaleb; his sister Mary Ellen Kemp of San Francisco, CA; and brother Duffy Ward of Vienna, VA. Celebration of Life arrangements will be made at a later date, once the pandemic is under control.


James Ross Ward Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jac Cerny

January 14, 2021

Jim you will be. Missed. I loved our dinners together watching football, especially our steak ones! We would talk politics and get Jolly riled up. He was one of a kind. Your brother Duffy was always in the middle also in our political debates. I remember your two girls, your dad was a good man he talked about you always in a loving way. Jim you also liked blue grass music which we had in common. Leave you on that note your favorite fox on the run!!p

Christune Koach

January 11, 2021

What a nice man! Always cheered me up after a swim. Taught me the priceless value to stretching backwards with my damp towel on the way back to my parked car. Ready with a smile, fatherly and friendly. Sorry for your loss. Sorry for our loss.

Sharon Ferrante

January 10, 2021

Jody Rusher

January 9, 2021

Jim and I were great friends back in my high school days at Yorktown and after in 1974. I had the privilege of meeting him through the Mcgreevy family. He introduced me to some great people that I have some fond memories and experiences with like Joe Hish and Doug Sorenson.
I visited him when he went to Shenandoah university several times. At that time he had all these cool friends that played music and it was a very cool period in my life. One day when I visited him we decided to go swimming at the local watering hole in his Celica and decided to beat the parking charge that the family charged who owned the property. We parked down the road . The driveway of the property owners. We thought we were slick. Well , when we got back to his car, we had 2 flat tires.
Soon , a man drove by and asked us if we needed help. He said it would cost a little more than the parking fee. He was the owner and had flattened the tires to teach us a lesson. So much for being slick!
We remained friends all through his college days and I will always consider him a close friend forever. A great guy with a great sense of humor. He will be missed. Thanks for touching my life Jimbo!

Dean Kauffman

January 8, 2021

I used to swim regularly at Yorktown Pool around 8:00 AM before covid-19 and I saw him many many times. He was always friendly and enthusiastic and we had many short chats. I know he was also a big fan of Arlington Central Library and my wife who works in reference there saw him on a regular basis. This is a big shock. He was strong swimmer. A lot faster than me! I loved all the fantastic flowers he raised and posted on his facebook page.

Richard Melia

January 7, 2021

Jim was always reaching out at Arlington Forrest Pool at Sunday Morning Adult swim with a smile, a joke, a story, or just the chance to talk about his latest book. Can't watch Ginger Zee report on the weather on ABC without thinking of Jim! He will be missed.

George Kirschbaum

January 7, 2021

A large smile, a hearty handshake, and an eager interest in whatever I was doing whenever we met. God speed!