Malcolm L. Ward

June 29, 1926November 5, 2020

Malcolm L. Ward

After living his best life of 94 years, Malcolm L. Ward passed away peacefully on November 5, 2020 in Chatham, MA. Malcolm was part of the “greatest generation” and he exemplified the patriotism, selflessness and personal responsibility of that era.

He was born in Lynn on June 29, 1926, the only child of the late George and Gladys (Owen) Ward and raised in Saugus. As a proud Eagle Scout, the associated scout values of service, leadership and a powerful code of conduct were the hallmarks of his life. He graduated from Saugus High School and was valedictorian of his class of 1944.

Upon graduation Malcolm entered the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point and graduated from the academy in 1947 with bachelor of science degrees in marine and mechanical engineering. He served seven months in the Pacific war zone, including Okinawa as an Ensign during WW2. Malcolm continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduating with bachelor of science degrees in business and engineering in 1951.

Malcolm then embarked on a long and successful management career in the footwear industry and eventually bought a large shoe last molding manufacturer, owning and operating it until his retirement in 1963.

It was Malcolm’s first job, at GTE Sylvania, where he met the love of his life, Eleanor. After a six month courtship they married in 1952 and were devoted to each other for 42 years until her untimely death in 1994. They settled in Weymouth to raise their two children and he was actively involved in all their activities, hands on all the way and was always their cheerleader. He loved his family and instilled his values in his children, teaching them to live by the Golden Rule----not just in words but by his actions and deeds. He never missed a Sunday church service and taught Sunday School for many years. He and Eleanor began summering in Chatham in 1965. Upon Malcolm’s retirement in 1993 they moved permanently to Chatham.

Widowed and newly retired, Malcolm became active in the community. He chaired the Friends of the Eldredge Public Library, was a Chatham Railroad Museum docent and active on the Friends Board of the Chatham Council on Aging, delivered Meals on Wheels, tutored math to elementary school students and presided over the Memoirs Group, which he founded, at the Eldredge Public Library. He was on the Chatham First Night Committee for many years, participated in the Road to Recovery program and built homes for Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of the Chatham Retired Men’s Association and would entertain children as Pockets the Clown on First Night and at the town’s Fourth of July parade. He learned Italian and pursued his passion for gardening. Malcolm enjoyed the beach, riding his bike, hiking, reading and watching his beloved Red Sox. He enjoyed weekly breakfasts with his walking buddies at Larry’s PX, downing an ice cold beer and fried clam plate at the Squire and would often dig into a large bowl of ice cream with lots of chocolate sauce in the evening.

He met Kay Cima through shared volunteer activities and they formed a special bond and were constant companions the last 20 years of their lives until Kay died this past July. Together they traveled Europe, Mexico and South America and enjoyed their mutual passion for opera and classical music.

Always physically active, Malcolm was power walking three miles most mornings with the Chatham Walkers when he wasn’t swimming laps at the health club. He power walked the 5K Chatham Harbor Road Race at the age of 90!

Malcolm leaves his daughter, Pamela G. Ward (Edward Collins) of Boston, his son, Geoffrey M. Ward of Winchester and three granddaughters, Eleanora, Alexandra and Victoria. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor. We will all miss his words of wisdom, his stories and the twinkle in his eye.

Malcolm’s life was marked by his kindness, generosity, unparalleled integrity and his ability to connect with anyone and everyone. He created deep, lasting relationships with people in all areas of his life. The world would be a much better place if it was more full of Malcolm’s.

We want to thank the outstanding staff of Liberty Commons and Broad Reach Hospice for the excellent, loving care and support so generously provided to Malcolm and his family. You are all blessings from above.

Donations in Malcolm’s name and memory can be made to the Eldredge Public Library online at or mailed to 564 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633.

For online condolences please visit


  • A Private Graveside Service has been held at the family's convenience


Malcolm L. Ward

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joyce Williams

November 30, 2020

Dear Pam, Jeff, and Family,
My heartfelt condolences on your father's passing. He was a wonderful man! Both your parents are very fondly remembered: I first met them as customers during my early days at Pine Tree Nursery. Always smiling, always buying flowers to beautify their new home, and your Mom always getting down on the floor to pet the dogs while she was there. I was thrilled to provide the landscape design for their home, and always touched by the fact that the plan was pinned to the garage wall and dutifully followed for the next 25 or so years!
After your mother's passing, it was nice to see Mal and Kay paling around; I knew Kay as a customer also and we both attended church in Harwich, so it was a pleasure to see the synergy that these two possessed. They will always hold the titles as Pickpocket Clowns for Chatham's First Night, but they did convince me to be step in for them late in the day one year, and that lead to an annual commitment for several years thereafter. I was happy to try to fill their big clown shoes to spell them on a cold winter's day! In more recent years, I visited Mal and Kay at Liberty Commons occasionally, as a member of the Companion Animal Program.
I was always happy to find common ground with your dad over the years, as he was such a pleasant man and a delight to be around. I am so very grateful to have know him. My sincere sympathy for your loss.
Joyce K. Williams

Fleur Jones

November 30, 2020

Mal was a true gentleman gentle man.
Extremely intelligent and sensitive to other people’s feelings. A great story teller who’s sense of detail was brilliant in his writings for the memoir group which he initiated for the Eldredge library.
Mal and Kay Cima were interested in everything . They always had plans for their next adventure. Busy giving back to the community.

They relentlessly volunteered to help in the community tutoring students, giving their time to Mayo house and being the pocket clowns to the delight of grown ups and children .To name only a few of their kindnesses.
It never ended .Their impact on so many of us who were privileged to have known them.
They are truly missed and there is no one like them. Privleged to have called them friends.
Fleur Jones

Sheila Gaynor

November 27, 2020

My students and I were fortunate to have Malcolm as a volunteer tutor in my Language Arts classes at Cape Cod Tech in the 90’s. Mal brought enthusiasm, compassion, wisdom, and much humor every time he walked through the door.He loved working with the kids and getting to know their life stories. He was inspirational and made everyone around him better. Well done Malcolm! Many people have such fond memories of you.

Gerry Di Gesu

November 24, 2020

Mal made me welcome in the memoir writing group at the library over twenty years ago when I first came to Chatham. He was always a gentleman and a gentle man as he led the group and his writing was often funny and full of wisdom. We shared a special bond as his encouragement helped me in many ways and I will always be thankful for his guidance.

Kay Dixon

November 23, 2020

Truly the world would be a better place if there were more Malcolms.
We loved and enjoyed knowing Mal as our neighbor for many years on Sky Way... and it was Mal that nudged and encouraged me to return to "writing" as he was leading the library's memoir group. It was wonderful knowing him. He was always positive and uplifting about everything he did... with a radiant smile.
He will be missed.
With sadness and joy,

Amy Natiello

November 22, 2020

My fondest memories of Mal are the many stories we shared in the early years of the Memoir writing group at Eldredge Library and especially, a trip to Taormina, Sicily, that we both, by chance, happen to go on with the same group. Always witty and sharing interesting information, his stories will always be with me.

Irene Gillies

November 20, 2020

I am saddened to hear of Malcolm's passing, but have so many memories of our working together through the decades at Eldredge Public Library. He was my ally, my friend, and my co-conspirator as we worked together to improve and expand the EPL's offerings to the people of Chatham. He taught me patience, diplomacy, and accountability, and I'll always remember him and his kindness!

John Gulow

November 18, 2020

I first met Mal when I became a volunteer at the Chatham Railroad Museum nearly 20 years ago. During my period as a volunteer, I found that Mal was a willing and cheerful volunteer, serving over the years in many capacities; as a Docent, a member of the administrative Chatham Railroad Museum Committee, and as a member of numerous group work parties which maintained the Museum. His service and participation will be missed by all his associates. God rest your soul, Mal...

Leonard Spalding

November 12, 2020

When I first started walking with the Chatham Walkers in 1999, Mal took me under his wing and made me feel welcome. I will always remember his friendliness and good nature over the years.
Len Spalding

Roger Denk

November 12, 2020

Mal was a true gentleman. He was a great friend in Chatham with an infectious smile. A regular at Sandi's Diner in downtown, Mal almost aways sat in the same seat by the window. We were all members of the Chatham Walkers. He helped us celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary at the South Chatham Village Hall in 2010. We were both participants in the Independence Day parades.

Mal leaves behind a legacy that we will cherish forever. Condolences to the family from both of us.

Roger and Adrienne Denk
Monterey CA and Chatham MA