Cover photo for Edward Patrick "Pat" Ward's Obituary
Edward Patrick "Pat" Ward Profile Photo

Edward Patrick "Pat" Ward

d. October 1, 2023

Bethesda, MD


Edward Patrick “Pat” Ward passed away at the age of 81 on Sunday, October 1, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Maureen; sons, Sam and Will (Mariam); grandchildren, Max, Ben, and Maya, and his two younger brothers, Mike (Anne) and Joe (Patricia) and sister-in-law Donna. He leaves behind a broad circle of friends, students, and colleagues.

Pat joins his parents, Albert Norman Ward Jr., and Emma K. Ward, and his elder brother, “Terp” and now stands with them in the light of Heaven.

Born into a military family, Pat spent much of his youth on the move. From Shelbyville, TN, he spent time in Ft. Benning, GA, Westminster, MD, Arlington, VA and Junction City, KS. He lived abroad in Izmir, Turkey, and Augsburg, Germany, where he and his brothers loved to borrow the family car for weekend excursions to neighboring countries. One of his favorite stories from that time was when he threw the longest-scoring touchdown pass in a high school football game, a record that is still unbroken, before revealing with a self-deprecating chuckle that it was actually an interception, and that it was the opposing team that scored.

He received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, and earned his PhD in Political Science from The University of Chicago. After completing his coursework, a deployment with the U.S. Army stationed him in Heidelberg, Germany, where he married his wife, Maureen, and his son, Sam, was born. After his discharge, the family returned to the States and spent time in Chicago, IL and Austin, TX, before settling in Bethesda, MD. His son, Will, soon followed.

In Bethesda, Pat began a 40-year career at Westat, a statistical research firm. As Vice President of Survey Operations, he directed one of the company’s largest and most challenging projects, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among others spanning labor, health, and nutrition. In this capacity, Pat was known for his dedication and integrity leading the complex project, which involved sending researchers around the country to better understand Americans’ healthcare needs and spending.

Pat’s youthful travels grew into a lifetime love of exploration and cultural immersion. Spanning The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Moroccan riads, Italian villas, and the gardens of Kyoto, he and Maureen delighted in exploring other cultures. Closer to home, Pat loved planning fishing and crabbing excursions for the family, and would charter boat trips for us to try our luck.

When not traveling, Pat continued to explore his intellectual curiosity. He was a lover of classical literature, and was re-reading The History of the Peloponnesian War up until his last days. He was helping a former Notre Dame classmate craft a paper on Artificial Intelligence and kept up other intellectual conversations dating back decades to his time in academia. In retirement, he began co-teaching a creative writing class at OLLI at American University, where he would ask his students to read aloud their on-the-spot writings, and would share his own with the class, but he never allowed his family to read his uncut gems.

Pat was most at home in the kitchen cooking. He loved the entire process — from triangulating between different recipes, shopping for ingredients, to selecting just the right type of salt from the overflowing spice rack. The preparation for a single meal could span several days or could come together in an instant. The results were always amazing…and followed by the inevitable question, “So, what’s for dinner next?”

Pat will always be remembered for his kind and generous nature. It is a trajectory that followed him throughout his life. From his time as head altar boy to his life-long friendships and collaborations with college classmates, hosting family celebrations, coaching CYO basketball, and non-profit volunteering, he was a selfless giver and role-model for family, friends and colleagues. He is missed dearly.

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Michael Catholic Church on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Edward Patrick “Pat” Ward.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edward Patrick "Pat" Ward, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Michael Catholic Church

177 1st Street, Biloxi, MS 39530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 152

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree