by Leah Hyatt
A lifelong learner, teacher, and physician, James Ward, Jr., M.D., passed away at age 74 May 28 in Charleston.
Dr. James Ward Jr.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., Ward received two
undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Wake Forest
University, a medical technology degree from Phillips University in
Oklahoma and master’s degrees in microbiology and genetics from the
University of New Hampshire. He completed his medical degree from MUSC
in 1966 and conducted his residency training in pediatrics, pathology,
and pediatric hematology and oncology. He later received master’s
degrees in counseling psychology and special education.
Considered Mount Pleasant’s first pediatrician and a family
practitioner, Ward was also an educator, teaching at the University of
New Hampshire, Furman University, Anderson College, College of
Charleston, The Citadel and MUSC. Ward was a lecturer and expert on
ADHD/dyslexia and has published numerous articles on the topic.
He was an active member of several professional and historical
organizations including the South Carolina Academy of Pediatrics,
Charleston County Medical Society, South Carolina Medical Association,
Phi Sigma, Beta Beta Beta and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor
Ward served the Waring Historical Library at MUSC as an active board
member and the immediate past president. Ward often lectured at the
weekly Medical Student History Club meetings and established the W.
Curtis Worthington research paper competition to recognize papers from
international health sciences students.
He devoted much of his time to the Mount Pleasant CARES (Community Aid,
Relief, Education, and Support) clinic and the Roper St. Francis
Healthcare’s after-hours urgent care program, PedsPlus. Ward also
supported the arts in Charleston as the past president of the
Charleston Symphony, member of the Gibbes Art Museum and chair of the
music committee at First Baptist Church in Charleston.
Caring for patients and teaching others how to do the same, Ward was a
prominent figure in health care in the Charleston area for years.
Sharing his knowledge with others and encouraging students to learn and
be compassionate were attributes for which he will be remembered.
Ward is survived by his four children, Thomas Rush Ward, Elizabeth Ward
Paddock, William McIlwain Ward, and Judith Chaworth Ward; three
grandchildren; and other family. He was predeceased by wife, Louise
In memory of Ward, donations may be made to the Waring Historical Library Society at MUSC, MUSC 403, Charleston, SC 29425-4030.
Jim was a special
physician: a passionate pediatrician who really cared for his patients;
a talented teacher who worked with students at the Citadel, The College
of Charleston, and especially the Medical University of South Carolina;
a fantastic father and family man; and a scholarly student of Medical
History ( especially Gullah history). Jim worked with medical
students in the free Cares Clinic and gave of his time to many
charitable causes. He worked with the Student Medical History Club and
the Robert Wilson Medical History Club. He was elected by students at
MUSC into Alpha Omega Alpha, the Medical Honor Society.
I asked Dr. Ward to speak to my medical class reunion in 2008 (our 55th
reunion) and again this year at our 56th. He spoke in 2008 about
“Gullah Root Medicine” and this year his topic was “The Relationship
(possible father: son) between John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.
We’ll all miss Jim.
—Biemann Othersen, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Emeritus Head Pediatric Surgery
Jim was instrumental
in establishing a paper competition with the Waring Library Society
named in Dr. W. Curtis Worthington’s honor. His efforts on this
were as much to honor his good friend as it was to stimulate an active
interest among students in the history of medicine. He cared so
passionately for the “young people” (as he always called them) whom he
met in his many roles: teacher, mentor, physician and friend. His
enthusiasm for life was contagious and he encouraged countless
individuals to embrace their potential and follow their dreams.
We will hold a memorial service for Jim at St. Lukes’ Chapel in fall
2009 once the students are back. Jim so loved the students he worked
with, and we wanted to be sure that they had an opportunity to remember
—Susan Hoffius, Curator and Assistant Professor, Waring Historical Library and Waring Library Society
I was blessed to have known Jim Ward.
One thing that may not have been expressed in other remembrances was
the high regard in which he was held by students —for his love of
teaching and of medicine and his patients. About two years ago, he was
elected by the medical students to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor
Society. I have always felt that this is an even greater honor than
being elected as a student, and Jim deserved it more than anyone else I
can think of.
Jim loved South Carolina, Charleston and the Medical College (MUSC) and
the history that binds them all together. He has been active for
decades and served last year as the president of the Waring Library
society and was one of the members of the Robert Wilson Medical History
club that never missed a meeting. He was personally responsible for the
institution of the Curtis Worthington Essay Contest that is sponsored
by the Waring Library.
He cared for generations of children in Mount Pleasant, and at MUSC
graduations would repeatedly say at each commencement: ‘He/ she is one
of mine’ when one of his former patients crossed the stage— often more
than one person in each of the colleges.
He was, for me, the epitome of a Southern gentleman, and a model physician and teacher. I will miss him.
—Stephen I. Schabel, M.D., Professor of Radiology
Friday, July 3, 2009