Dr. Richard H. Ward, PhD., age 75, loving husband of Michelle Ward, entered into eternal rest peacefully on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at his home in Bethany, surrounded by his loving family. Dick was many things in life - a Marine, NYPD officer, Police Detective, Writer, Educator, Administrator and Student of the World - but most importantly, he was a loving family man, mentor and friend to so many across the globe. He was born in Jamaica, NY on September 2, 1939, the beloved son of the late Hurley and Anna Mittasch Ward. Dick grew up in New York City, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and proudly served from 1957 until 1961 with the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division primarily in the areas of security and special operations. Dick would go on to serve the legacy of the Marine Corps and his country throughout his entire life. After returning to New York City in 1961, he became a member of the NYPD serving as a patrolman, youth investigator and eventually in the position of Detective until 1970. During this time, Dick decided on pursuing a degree in higher education so enrolled in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, simultaneously working as a police officer and taking college classes. Upon graduation with his Bachelor's Degree in 1967, he was awarded a scholarship to graduate school and began his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where he ultimately earned his Doctorate in Criminology (DCrim).
Dick began teaching at John Jay College in 1970 and through his intelligence and natural leadership characteristics, he quickly moved into administration and would remain a university administrator for the next four and a half decades: serving as the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Dean of Students and finally as Vice President of John Jay College; then Vice Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for 16 years (longest serving Vice Chancellor in the history of the university); Associate Vice Chancellor of UIC for Special Programs; Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice President for Research at Sam Houston State University and most recently as Dean and Doctoral Program Director and AVP for Special Programs and Sponsored Research for the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.
During an academic career that has spanned more than 40 years, Dick has been involved in virtually every aspect of academic life, as a faculty member, senior administrator and most importantly, an impactful life mentor for many generations of students and university employees. He was the author of numerous books and articles that crossed the depth of his field and directed research projects that spanned countless countries and continents. In addition to more than 100 professional presentations, he has served as a consultant and trainer to numerous local, state, federal and international agencies on the subjects of international organized crime, global terrorism, criminal investigation and criminal justice issues. He has visited more than 50 countries and taught in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few of the countries where Dick lived and served as an educator. He received numerous awards in his lifetime including the Friendship Medal by the government of China and the ACJS Founders Award. Dick also proudly founded the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG) to continue fueling his decades long study of global terrorism.
Dick was a man of extraordinary principle, character and charisma. He not only touched the lives of many people during his distinguished career, but with strength and perseverance, Dick took personal ownership of helping others make meaningful social, patriotic and lasting contributions in their own lives, keeping us focused on the most important lessons of all; always give back more than you receive and pay it forward to the next generation. The people whose lives that Dick touched range from the highest corridors of governments around the world to those patrolling the streets at home and abroad. Of all his many contributions and accomplishments, Dick put none higher than his own family. His legacy will be forever immortalized in the memories of those of us who were lucky enough to know him and the continued re-telling of these dear memories.
In addition to his loving wife Michelle, Dick leaves his three caring children Jeanne, John (Juli) and Sophia, his two cherished grandchildren Declan and Keeley, his beloved sister Joyce Hornback, and many loving nieces, nephews and in-laws.
The memorial celebration of Dick's life will be held in the David A. Beckerman Recreation Center at the University of New Haven, on Saturday, February 21st, at 3pm. There will be a reception directly following the service. In late March, another memorial service will be held in Chicago where Dick and Michelle had many friends and family. All other services are private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be sent to the Richard and Michelle Ward Endowed Scholarship at the University of New Haven. Checks can be made out to the University of New Haven, c/o The Richard and Michelle Ward Endowed Scholarship, Office of Advancement, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516.
To light a virtual candle and leave online condolences please visit www.millerwardfuneralhome.com