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Stephen P. Ward of Gloucester Point, Va., was born on August 31, 1955, in Washington, D.C. to Ralph V. Ward and Julia Frances (Murphy) Ward. He died January 2, 2024.

He grew up mostly in McLean, Virginia. He earned EMT certificates from Virginia (1978) and D.C. (1981), and was listed in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Shortly after he joined the D.C. Fire Department in 1981, he was in an ambulance that responded to the Washington Hilton Hotel where President Ronald Reagan and three members of his entourage had been shot in an assassination attempt. He took care of a Metropolitan Police Officer who was shot in the neck and survived his injury. A year later he was on the first D.C. Fire Department unit to arrive at the crash scene when Air Florida, Flight 90, clipped the 14th street bridge before sinking into the Potomac.

In 1988, he became a firefighter in Fairfax County. He earned Fire Fighter III status and Haz Mat certification in 1989, and joined the National Fire Protection Association. Eventually he left the fire department for a second career as a licensed residential and commercial building inspector for private and public organizations, including the U.S. Army. His final position was with the U.S Army installation at Fort Eustis in Newport News.
Survivors include a son, Matthew A. Ward, two daughters, Rachel L. Ward and Lisa Ward Parker, a brother, Michael J. Ward, and a sister, Karen Ward Mahar.

A funeral Mass took place at noon Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Church of St. Thérèse,  Gloucester.

Memorial donations may be made to the International Association of Fire Fighters (

Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home & Crematory.


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