Art and Ann Ward died together June 24, 2018, in a small aircraft crash. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in North Pole, followed by a 4 p.m. celebration of life potluck at the Ward's home in Salcha. Arrangements will be made by Blanchard Family Funeral Home.
Ann Catherine Ward was born Dec. 12, 1958, to Ted and Nora Mulberry, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the fifth of eight brothers and sisters. She graduated from Skyline High School in 1977 and later attended Boise State University, where she graduated in 1981 with her degree in elementary education. Her artistic abilities and creativity inspired friends and family. She brought the Salcha community together in song, teaching piano and leading annual Christmas recitals and caroling. She took up cross-country skiing (Art's favorite winter pastime), home-schooled their four children and always welcomed visitors with hot drinks and something fresh from the oven.
Both Art and Ann have older brothers who are aviation enthusiasts, which is how the Ward and Mulberry families met. They were married June 5, 1982, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Idaho Falls. The newlyweds spent their first winter in a trapping cabin north of the Arctic Circle, before moving to Salcha, where they made their lifelong home. Some of the best times were spent at their cherished family homestead near McCarthy. They were flying Art's Piper Super Cub to the homestead the day the Lord chose to call them home. They will be remembered for their selfless generosity and willingness to help anyone in need, their passion for skiing and hiking, Art's strawberry patch and Ann's garden. Their enthusiasm for the outdoors inspired many a first camping trip or alpine summit. They placed faith and family first and will never be forgotten in their deep love for family and friends.
Art and Ann are survived by their four children: Mary Ann Eckart (Matthew), Nelson Ward, Sarah Haskin (Travis) and Ben Ward; and three grandchildren, Emily, Elena and Eila Eckart; Art's brothers, Doran Ward (Veronica) and Calvin Ward Jr.; Ann's mother, Nora Mulberry; and her siblings, Mike Mulberry (Ina), Steve Mulberry (Elna), Ken Mulberry (Jenni), Mark Mulberry (Kathy), Linda Drewes (Scott), Sharon Gustaveson (Brian) and John Mulberry (Shaun); and many nieces and nephews.