ELLENTON, Fla. — Fred Robert Ward III, 78, of Ellenton, Fla., died unexpectedly, with his wife and family by his side, Tuesday, March 20, in Florida.

He was born in Milford, Conn., Aug. 12, 1939, the son of Fred Robert Ward Jr. and Phyllis Shandoff.

Fred worked hard all his life to support and care for his family. He had an extraordinary work ethic, which he passed on to his children. He was always ready to help a stranger in need. He donated money to many different organizations and individuals.

Fred was an avid gardener; he enjoyed entertaining and cooking. There was always enough food and room for unexpected guests at his table. He was always eager to share a Coors Light with any stranger or one of his many friends.

He was a member of the American Legion, current Post 153 and past Post 31, as service officer. He and his wife donated many hours of their time to the Legion and Veteran Riders of Maine. He was also a member of the Slovak Club in Lisbon Falls.

He served in the U.S. Air Force as load master. He was patrol officer with Milford Police Department, was owner of several businesses, was purchasing agent for Fleet Services and was at Bath Iron Works, from which he retired in 2001.

He was predeceased by his parents and his beloved dog, Zoe.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy Ward; daughters, Brenda Poirier and her husband, Steve Poirier, of Apex, N.C., Colleen Starbird and her husband, Chuck Starbird, of Minot, Schawn Todd and her partner, Allan Clark, of St. Augustine, Fla., Shannan Reid and her husband, John Reid, of Auburn, Shaeleen Sargent and her husband, Jason Sargent, of Auburn; 12 grandchildren, Elizabeth, Morgan, Katie, Meghan, Kieran, Kelsey, Alex, Haley, Madison, Brian, Aiden, Caiden; and one great-grandchild, Landon; sister, Carolyn Brockett, of Richmond, Va.; and his faithful furry companion, Rhea.

Fred R. Ward III

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