Rites Friday for Ex-GOP Chair E.F. Ward Jr.

Times Staff Writer

Memorial services will be conducted on Friday for Edward F. Ward Jr., former chairman of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.

Ward, 57, of Palm Desert and Newport Beach, died of brain cancer Sunday at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach. Ward, who lived in Orange County for many years, was a former administrative assistant to then Assemblyman Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach).

Born on Nov. 27, 1931, in San Francisco, Ward was graduated cum laude from Stanford University in 1953 with a degree in political science. He participated in the university’s ROTC program and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation.

Honorably discharged in 1955, Ward began working as an insurance agent for Jay & Renfro of Newport Beach. Between 1971 and July, 1977, he served as corporate secretary and director of the Willard Co., an Orange County boat-building firm.


In 1974, Ward was elected chairman of the Orange County Republican Central Committee, a position he held for about 7 1/2 months until he resigned, citing personal business pressures.

Before his election as committee chairman, he served as administrative assistant to Badham for about 5 years.

Ward also was an original member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council, which was formed in 1980. He is survived by his wife, Jean Lea Reed Ward; daughters Calene Fleurke and Lea Ward and granddaughters Adrienne and Xandria Fleurke.

Memorial services will be conducted at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach. The family requests that any contributions be made to the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Project 999.