Nicklas Ward

July 2, 1954November 15, 2020

Nicklas John Ward, age 66 of Sudbury, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 15 with his family by his side.

Nick was born on July 2, 1954 in Durand, Wisconsin the son of John and Dorothy Ward. He grew up on the family farm and in a community of many cousins and extended family. Later on, the family moved to California where Nick attended high school. Nick started college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a Chemistry major. He then transferred to UCLA, earning a degree in Mathematical Psychology that introduced him to a whole world of theories in computer science and mathematical modeling. He went on to earn a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Kansas. Nick met his future wife, Kim at KU and they were married on October 4, 1980. Together, they raised two children, Brandon and Shannon.

Nick had an exciting career in marketing research, which focused on new product development. His career brought him to Ontario, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, before he settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1992. In 1995, Nick started his own consulting company Marketing Pathfinders.

Nick was a lifelong, avid outdoor enthusiast. He spent his childhood on family farms in Durand, his summers as a young adult in Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, and he passed on his love of nature to his children. Nick was an expert skier and fisherman, and he traveled across the continent for fishing and skiing adventures with his family. His hobbies at home included ancestry research, statistical modeling, and career counseling. Nick will be remembered for his strong mathematical and analytical mind. His extreme curiosity and ability to pose novel questions made him successful in his many professional and personal endeavors. Nick was an excellent teacher, and everyone who crossed paths with Nick appreciated his wisdom and life lessons.

Nick is preceded in death by his father John P. Ward, mother Dorothy L. Fox Ward and his brother Bill Ward. He is survived by his wife Kim; children Brandon (Cathy) Ward and Shannon Ward; granddaughter Alice; sisters Karen Tarrant and Chris Tarrant; brother Jim (Dorothy) Ward; and beloved nieces and nephews Benjamin, Matthew, Patrick, Hannah, Levi and Aibai. His stepmother whom he loved, Harriet A. Hull Ward died soon after Bill.

Burial will take place at Forest Hill Cemetery in Durand. In lieu of flowers Nick has asked that donations be made to the Sierra Club ( or Audubon Society (


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Nicklas Ward

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Rod DeMille

November 25, 2020

The only way I can describe my relationship with Nick is that we were 'Bosom Buddies'. I don't mean to be presumptuous because I am sure that Nick would agree.
It didn't start that way. For years we had only a casual relationship through sharing occasional pleasantries at the church. We grew a little closer when we both landed on the Board of Trustees. We worked together for many years, dealing with the constant onslaught of problems associated with keeping a collection of very old buildings safe and functional. We didn't always agree on how to fix or repair or replace something, but we always found a happy solution. Through it all, Nick was the glue that kept all the Trustees working together and focused.
Eventually Nick and I developed a friendship beyond the walls of the church, and then for many years even after our relationships with the church ended.
We would get together about once a month in person or lately by phone, to socialize and just talk about anything.
I will especially cherish the few hours we spent together at his house a few days before his passing. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did.
RIP Nick.

David Lyon

November 22, 2020

Nick and I first met by accident, in a client’s office. He later invited me to coffee, and we started occasionally getting together to talk. This evolved into some local hikes and dog walks and eventually, into almost 15 years of a standing weekly lunch date. We talked about his consulting business, my divorce and dating issues, and pretty much everything in between.

The breadth of his strategic business knowledge and his grasp of the big pictures of marketing and business never failed to impress me. Also striking was the tenacious persistence with which he coached and cajoled his clients into doing the right thing, even (or especially) when going along would have been far easier. He was steady and committed, both professionally and personally.

Despite many and growing health challenges, he always maintained a degree of humor, optimism and acceptance. Nick was a truly decent and gentle man and a great friend. We are all poorer without him. My deepest condolences to his family, of whom he was very proud.

Laury Hammel

November 22, 2020

Nick was a super nice guy who loved everyone in his community and always tried to find the positive even during challenging times. We became friends many years ago because we both were active members of Memorial Congregational Church and he was an active and beloved member of the Longfellow Health Clubs.

God Bless Nick and Kim and their loving family!

Andy Ware

November 21, 2020

I met Nick 20 years ago at the Longfellow Health Club in Wayland where we frequently chatted. We met for lunch regularly to catch up and swap market research experiences - our mutual profession. Nick was a fan of Soul of India in Wayland, Sudbury Coffee Works and I recall a barbecue restaurant in Framingham that he especially liked. "What's goin' on" was always followed by engaging conversation on work, projects (including the occasional entertaining client caricatures), politics, and updates on family adventures (I recall many stories of India). Nick shared his health experiences over the past two years, and it always seemed to me that he somehow would outsmart it, or at least so I hoped. I think Nick's "intelligence - friendliness" index, if there is such a thing, is off the charts. I have been inspired by our many conversations and friendship. I'll very much miss him.

Ruth Brodeen

November 21, 2020

Nick was a great friend and mentor. He was a huge supporter and encourager when I needed it most. His spirit will live on and not be forgotten. I am privileged to have known him and he contributed much to my life.

Bruce Scheer

November 20, 2020

I've known Nick for 20 years, working with him across 3 consultancies during his consulting career. Transcending way beyond work, Nick provided an undivided listening ear and sage coaching through most of my major work and life transitions. We would see each other on most of my trips out to Boston, and Nick always had a new outdoor experience for us to share together. The photo below was of Nick getting ready to show me a wildlife refuge. I will miss Nick dearly.

Ellen Sills-Levy

November 20, 2020

Nick and I met by serendipity when I asked for recommendations in the Marketing Research community for an excellent statistics specialist who spoke in understandable English. After we connected, I had the pleasure of working with Nick for years on breakthrough client assignments. Nick was brilliant--he had "outlier" thinking. He was caring. He became a good friend, even though we talked via telephone most of the time.
He loved his family very much and was extremely proud of their accomplishments.
May he rest in heavenly peace.
Heartfelt condolences to Kim, Shannon and Brandon and family.
Ellen Sills-Levy

Sue Hall Eaton

November 20, 2020

My deepest condolences to you and the kids on Nick’s passing. I am so sorry.
God Bless.

Sue (Petersen) Eaton

Sherrie Smith

November 17, 2020

So sorry to hear about Nick's death. He was my Ward/Van Ness genealogy buddy for a couple of decades! I only met Nick once personally at a Ward Family reunion in Durand, but he took such good care of Brad & I by showing us the family haunts and giving us a great family background.

I appreciated his insight and expertise that motivated me to keep researching.

He will be missed!

Geral Istilarte Hedges

November 17, 2020

Nick was a friend from 1977, he and my office mate spoke statistics and math. He would come by “to cheer up the place”, with a “what’s going on?” . In those days when life and energy bottomed out one of us would call the other and late at night we would go on a drive, to a drive in ,for a milk shake , root beer, and French fries to share. He was the most intelligent and patient among us and remained that way his whole life. A pathfinder.
Nick earned the name Walking Man at the hospital , during his nearly three year battle, cruising the halls in an effort to keep his strength and spirits up. In being an advocate for his own Cancer care and treatment he made his need to understand , an opportunity to learn and teach ,more loudly in the end than when we were young.
Oct 30 th Nick called to tell me there was nothing more he could do for his family. He was tired and going “to stop fighting and let nature take its course”. Still , he looked forward to a visit the next day from Alice and Brandon.
We reminisced about how much had changed since a milkshake and French fries would renew us to take on the world again.
God will surely welcome and renew His humble friend and faithful servant Nick home at last.


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