Born in Oklahoma, Donald Ray Ward's family returned to the Newport-Mesa area in 1931, lived at 19th Street and Newport Boulevard and attended Newport Elementary and Horace Ensign Jr. High schools.
He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 1949, served in the Korean War, played basketball and baseball at USC, and served as "Yell King" for USC in the Rose Bowl.
Donnie is survived by his brother Roy Ward, married to Barbara Ward for 39 years, survived by five children and 13 grandchildren. Donnie worked with his father, Doug Ward, and Roy Ward to build a real estate empire in the Newport-Mesa area from 1934-2010. Donnie Ward was a member of the Balboa Bay Club and Santa Ana Country Club for more than 25 years.
He was a world famous fisherman with records and pictures of circus catches. Donnie loved his family, following his kids in horse jumping, little league baseball, football, track, rugby and lacrosse. Donnie coached the women's softball team, Black Beardss Broads.
Donnie loved watching USC sports, the Lakers and of course any Newport Harbor High sporting event. He enjoyed business and the art of negotiations, always striving for another big deal. Founder of Newport Harbor Recovery Services in 1992. A sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 24 years. Donnie was the life of the party.
Donnie passed away peacefully April 24, 2010, of throat cancer at his home overlooking the Eighth Fairway on the SACC with his dog Mocha at his side.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Newport Harbor High School Athletic Department.
Memorial Services at from 1 to 6 p.m. June 27 at Costa Mesa Community Center, 1845 Park Ave.