Buzz enlisted in the Navy on Dec 1, 1954 and served on the U.S.S. Princeton. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on August 14, 1957. Buzz was very proud of his time spent serving in the Navy. Upon returning to the states, he worked for the Grand Forks Fire Department as a fireman for 2 years.
In 1959, Buzz was united in marriage to Gail Peterson in Thief Rivers Falls, MN. To this union a son, Richard “Ricky” Ward was born. Richard died on June 5, 1977 in a car accident at the young age of 17.
Buzz married Lucille (Brenhaug) Olson in January 1963, and took in her four children (Lynn, Cindy, Julie & Tracy Olson) as his own. Another son, Randy, and a daughter, Marlys, blessed this union.
Buzz worked as an over the road truck driver for many years for several companies including Wedul’s Trucking Company, Bridgeman Creamery and Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, MN. The couple made their home in Missoula, MT and Rugby, ND for a short time. In 1973 Buzz moved his family to Fordville where he worked at the Fordville-Lankin School as custodian for 20 years. In 1993 Buzz and Lucille moved to Warroad, MN to help care for extended family. He worked for Marvin Windows for 5 years, retiring and relocating to Lankin, ND in 1998.
Buzz enjoyed spending time with his family, going Muskie fishing in Canada, trap shooting, camping, deer hunting in the fall with his sons, playing golf, working on Sudoku puzzles, and woodworking in his “Hen House”. Buzz was very fond of numerous pets over the years with the most recent being his cat “Lucky”. He was a member of the Assembly of God Church in Grafton where he served as an elder. He was a member of the Bosh-Ryba American Legion Post #157, Lankin Senior Center and served as Chairman of the Lankin Park Board for many years. He also assisted with many local area school board elections.
Buzz is survived by his wife, Lucille Ward of Lankin, children, Lynn (Craig) Grassel, Gillette, WY, Cindy (Dan) Schmit, Lankin, ND, Julie (Keith) Gemmill, Fordville, ND, Tracy (Kim) Olson, Fordville, ND, Randy (Lynn) Ward, Warroad, MN and Marlys (Dave) Severson, Grafton, ND. He is survived by 13 grandchildren including Michael Gemmill, Lisa (Kris) Jacobson, Christon (Jennifer Burrell) Linstad, Tricia (Scott) Ode, Thomas (Shannon) Gemmill, Carl (Katy) Grassel, Jacob (Susan) Grassel, Erica (AJ) Anderson, Andrew (Alexa) Gemmill, Nicholas (Kristina Fischer) Ward, Jacy (Ryan) Whaley, Cody Stiefel and Jade Olson. He is also survived by 24 great grandchildren.
Buzz was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Richard, his sister, Mary Ann Hanson, great granddaughters, Elyse Grassel & Amber Anderson and several other special family members.
A celebration of Buzz’s life will be held on Monday, April 19th at 2:00 PM at the Fordville Lutheran Church in Fordville, ND. A visitation time with family will be one hour prior to the service. Covid-19 precautions will be followed. Interment will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery rural Fordville, ND. Military Rites will be provided by the Bosh-Ryba American Legion Post #157 and the United States Naval Honors. An online guest book is available at: www.tollefsonfuneralhome.com . The Tollefson Funeral Home of Park River is in charge of the arrangements.