Cover photo for Kim  Hartsell Ward's Obituary
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Kim Hartsell Ward

August 17, 1955 — May 4, 2020

Kim Hartsell Ward

Kim Hartsell Ward, aged 64, died on May 4, 2020. He was born August 17, 1955 in Durham, NC to Philip M. and Marguerite Hartsell Ward. Kim was raised in Durham and went to Morehead Elementary, Rogers Herr Junior High and Hillside High Schools. Kim finished high school at Christchurch School in Christchurch, VA, and attended college at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC where he played both lacrosse and soccer. Kim’s experiences and friendships at Christchurch and Guilford had a lasting impact on his life. Kim had just finished his first year of college when his father, Philip Ward, died in a private airplane crash on May 18, 1974. His father was the owner of Ward Furniture Company in downtown Durham, a small store with two employees. Kim felt strongly that he should do what he could to keep the business running in his father’s absence. Kim worked at the store for nearly a year until his mother sold the business and Kim returned to college. While at Guilford, Kim met Emily Leight, his wife of 43 years, and they were married in 1977 at Mt. Pleasant Church in Tanglewood Park. Kim and Emily moved to a beautiful property in Rockingham County where they have lived for 20 years. They named it Meadowbrook Farm and hosted family and friends for many beautiful holidays and celebrations. Kim loved maintaining and enhancing the property, and used his skills as a licensed general contractor (Tide Up Construction) to build barns and pens for their dogs, chickens, goats and donkey, and sheds for his equipment and tools. His last major project was to move and renovate an old tobacco barn. Kim worked for 25 years with Environmental Air Systems. Kim worked as both superintendent and project manager for EAS. He retired in April of 2019. He will be missed as a valued and dedicated EAS family member. Kim was an avid duck hunter and saltwater fisherman. Later in life he became a voracious reader: sitting in a blind, combining reading and hunting was a favorite pastime. Kim was a generous man of few words with a sharp wit, and when he spoke it was direct, with integrity and sincerity. He was a guardian of family traditions. He was a dedicated husband and a reliable son, son-in-law, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Kim is survived by his wife, Emily; two brothers and spouses, Philip (Karen) Ward, Jr., and Jon (Dawn) Ward; mother-in-law, Elaine Leight; two sisters-in-law, Mary Leight (Bart Engram) and Laney (Greg) Golden; niece, Kelly Ward; nephew, Mason Ward; cousin Curtis (Diane) Adams and their children, Ashley, Tyler, Codey and Addison. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Kim, the family suggests one of the following: Ducks Unlimited: https://www.ducks.org/support/donateOnlineSecure.aspx?promoKey=MemorialHonorGiving&ID =4889 Hospice of Rockingham County: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/HospiceofRockinghamCounty/Memorial.html Please indicate that you would like a notification of your gift to be sent to jonward@alumni.duke.edu.
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