John Clarence Ward, beloved father, husband, grandfather, and friend, passed away on June 20, 2022, surrounded by his wife and children after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 80 years old.
John was born in Boise, Idaho, on December 3, 1941. He was the middle child of three siblings, born to Clarence Trulock and Emma Julietta Scorup Ward. He was a descendant of Utah and Idaho pioneers, and as a young boy he enjoyed summers riding with the cowboys on his grandfather's cattle ranch in the Four Corners area in Utah. After graduating from Borah High School in 1960, John attended Boise Junior College and Stanford University, graduating from Idaho State University in 1964, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. Although he was accepted to Columbia University in New York, he chose to attend law school at the University of Idaho to be closer to family.
John was born to become a lawyer, following in his father's footsteps. Upon passing the bar exam, he worked at Elam & Burke. Eventually, he became a partner at Langroise, Sullivan & Smylie, Holland & Hart and Moffatt Thomas. He also served as general counsel for West One Bank and U.S. Bank. Specializing in corporate law and banking/finance litigation, John was admired for his quick mind, command of the law and revered for his prowess in the courtroom. He was a gifted recruiter and mentor to many.
John married Nancy O'Rouark in 1966. Their two daughters, Kristen and Brooke, were born in Boise. Together they all learned to ski and enjoyed spending time in McCall and Sun Valley. John encouraged his daughters to have a strong work ethic and love for the outdoors.
In 1989, John married Mikel Hudelson McMurray. They had nearly 33 wonderful years together and shared their appreciation of art and music, love of hiking, exploring the beauty of Idaho, golf, and their homes in Arizona and Sun Valley, along with their faithful four-legged companions.
John was an enthusiastic sportsman and avid Bronco fan. You could count on finding him in the stands, cheering on the basketball and football teams. Anyone who knew John loved his keen insight, sharp wit, creative storytelling and colorful metaphors.
John was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Etta, sister Coleen Ryan and half-siblings Grant Ward, Roland Ward, Margaret Siddoway and Barbara Oldenburg. He is survived by his wife Mikel, daughters Kristen (Mark) Jensen and Brooke (Michael) Gentry, grandchildren Benjamin and Grace Gentry, stepchildren Stacey (John) Slattery and Todd (Laela Wilding) McMurray, and step-grandchildren Conner, Will and Aiden Slattery, Finn and Vivian McMurray, his ex-wife Nancy, sister JoAn (John) Zanot and half-sister Judith Karst.
John had deep gratitude for a life filled with opportunities and love. His irreplaceable wisdom, humor and love will be deeply missed. A private Celebration of Life will be held in September. In honor of his memory, gifts can be made to the Land Trust of Treasure Valley.