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Mountain View Funeral & Cremation

2350 Montebello Square Drive, Colorado Springs, CO

OBITUARY

Don Ward

July 23, 1965August 24, 2020

On August 24, 2020, Donald Joseph Ward, known to all of us as Don Ward or Unkie, passed away unexpectedly. He was with one of his best friends climbing a 14er – in his happy place.

Don was born on July 23, 1965, in Duluth, Minnesota. He grew up in an Air Force family and spent many of his younger years in England, a country he called his 2nd home. Moving here in 1978, Don always considered Colorado Springs his home and always wanted to return here as his career flourished.

Don was a 1983 graduate of Thomas B. Doherty High School where he was known for his drama roles and playing the trombone in the Spartan marching band. He also began his love of electric guitar playing in the jazz band.

After graduating from CU Boulder, Don spent a year in St. Louis at the Broadcast Center. With this certification and an assurance from a local news anchor, Don began his career in Sherman, Texas. In quick succession, he was in Ardmore and Lawton, Oklahoma, and finally landed in Colorado Springs in 1991 at KRDO. In 1995, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and then on to Cincinnati. In the early 2000s, he returned to his beloved state of Colorado at WB2 in Denver.

Don’s ultimate goal and dream was achieved in February 2006 when he became the main anchor at KKTV 11 news. At that point, KKTV became his public family.

In his private life, and what he loved most in all the world, was his own family. There was no more protective son to his mother, Ruth Ward. He was the rock of the family to his sisters Cindy Dillon and Jen Lennon. He was the ultimate baby bro to sister Cindy, and a supportive big brother to his sister and brother-in-law, Jen and Greg Lennon. And, there was a special group of people in his life fondly known as Unkie’s Monkeys. These were his nephews and nieces, John (with wife Alexa) and Julie Dillon, and Evan, Ryan, and Kate Lennon. His life revolved around their life events. There was no prouder uncle than Don. Other beloved extended family members include the Maguire and O’Brien families, Chris, Kathleen and Elaine Lennon, and his stepfather Leo Schwartzenberger and his family.

Besides his family, Don loved Liverpool Football, the CU Buffs, Colorado Rockies, the Broncos, and from his childhood, the St. Louis Cardinals.

He loved music. Playing the guitar brought him great pleasure. His favorite group by far was Queen, and his favorite musicals were Les Miserables and Billy Elliot.

Don also loved to travel. He visited England every year, and New York City was another favorite. He used his strong photography skills on his many travels and shared this love of his with his viewers and family.

He loved to hike and climb 14ers. On the morning he died, he had climbed Mt. Democrat and he summited Mt. Cameron. He tried to climb Pikes Peak every year.

Don loved being a part of the news, and sharing the news with his community both near and far. He won 4 Emmys in his career. He covered many major news stories including being at Ground Zero post-9/11, Columbine, and the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. He also had the honor to interview President Barack Obama at the White House.

Because of his role in the community, Don helped with several local non-profit fundraising events. Closest to his heart was emceeing the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale annual concerts. Also, emceeing walks for the American Diabetes Association and working on the St. Jude Dream Home.

Don is preceded in death by his father, Donald Joseph Ward, Sr., his sister, Julie Mary Ward, and his brother-in-law, Russ Dillon.

Don’s passing leaves a void in the lives of his family, friends, KKTV colleagues, and the entire community. KKTV has lost their beloved co-anchor, but his family has lost their anchor.

Donations in Don’s honor can be made to the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association or the Don Ward Memorial Theatre Fund at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College 719.477.4379.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, August 29, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Don Ward

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Evelyn Cramer

August 29, 2020

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night.”

I was Don’s weekend morning co-anchor in Cincinnati and I didn’t realize until he left to go home to Colorado Springs, how much I would miss him. He made work fun. Anyone who has met him knows how witty, talented and kind he was. He was that guy, the guy we could count on. A shout out to all of you in Colorado Springs, you made him very happy.

Gino Villarreal

August 28, 2020

My condolence go out to Don's family during difficult time lost him. I haven't gotten chance to meet him in person but I only see his awesome pictures and videos he posted on his Facebook page that I really see his pictures and videos he shared with us on Facebook page. I will miss see his pictures and videos on Facebook page. My heart is hurt to hear the news about his passing. He will be missed by many people he loved and is watching over his family and colleagues/friends now. He will always remember. I will meet him in heaven one day in the future. May you rest in peace, Don.

Gino Villarreal

Nickie CSCC

August 28, 2020

I didn’t know Don Ward personally, but I didn’t need to know him that way to see how much of an impact he made on CSCC—from emceeing our shows to inviting us to be on KKTV every year for the Christmas special. He was an incredibly kind and funny person, as well as a role model for all of us. I loved working with him during our big shows at the Pikes Peak Center and especially at our most recent holiday show. He was patient, positive, and beyond helpful every step of the way. It was a privilege to work with him. He will be deeply missed by all of us. Thank you Don, for everything you’ve done for CSCC. --Nickie

Kamille CSCC

August 28, 2020

Mr. Don Ward was not only for the community but he was the face of the community. He was always so happy and willing to be a part of our big shows, and to see that from a young age means a lot. Mr. Don always had a smile every time he worked with us, and his positivity radiated off of him making the experience even better. His love for the arts was contagious, and so spectacular to see. It is difficult to imagine not being able to see him during Christmas time at our big shows, and on TV. Don Ward will be missed but his actions and memories will always be remembered. –Kamille

Cade CSCC

August 28, 2020

Don was a friend to everyone he met and had an amazing sense of humor, and even though he knew so much he was always willing to learn from other people, younger or older. He never missed an opportunity to teach someone something or to make someone smile. Ultimately, it’s a very sad and trying loss for the community but he will never be forgotten and will be celebrated for years to come. I can confidently say that everyone in Children’s Chorale will miss him dearly, but he will always be watching over us. --Cade

Alyce CSCC

August 28, 2020

Don was always smiling when he worked with the kids at CSCC. He seemed to enjoy every second of the time he spent working for the Christmas and Spring shows. He was a source of joy and lit up the stage, whether that be the Pikes Peak Center stage or the stage of his work. Don will be greatly missed. No one can fill the space he left in our lives. – Alyce

Emma CSCC

August 28, 2020

Words can’t describe how incredibly heartbreaking this is. Don was such a special person not only to me, but all of Colorado Springs. Every time we worked together he was kind, patient, funny, and set an excellent example of professionalism. I send my love out to all of his family who I care for very much. Don, we won’t forget the legacy that you have left and the incredible impact you have made in this community. – Emma

Millie CSCC

August 28, 2020

Don was such a staple in both the Colorado Springs community and the CSCC community. He was a beacon of light. He loved being at CSCC rehearsals and shows. I loved seeing and hearing the little jokes that he and Jen would say to each other. He was always so positive and upbeat. When we would finally nail that difficult number, he would cheer for us. You couldn't be in a bad mood when Don was around. His laugh and smile were contagious. Don will be greatly missed. – Millie

Hayden CSCC

August 28, 2020

I grew up idolizing the way that he could spin words. He made every Christmas show exciting and new. I know all of us thank Don for the contributions to the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and the Colorado Springs community. He will be dearly missed. – Hayden

Brooklyn CSCC

August 28, 2020

Although he has passed on, I'll always remember Don's love for the arts, and all of the people involved. He was always up for all the rehearsal time for our shows, even if that meant running one thing a thousand times, and always seemed excited to tape another KKTV Christmas special. He was always ready to sit down to learn about our stories in connection to the music, while also sharing his own. His outreach and advocacy for the arts in Colorado Springs helped not only the Children's Chorale, but also the Youth Symphony and other community programs. He was a big part of the art community and the Chorale family, and will not soon be forgotten. – Brooklynn

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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