916 E. Divisadero | Fresno, CA 93721 | Tel: 1-559-486-7777
site image
Welcome to the memorial page for

Douglas Emery Ward

July 1, 1948 ~ March 7, 2020 (age 71)

Share using:         


Celebration of Life
March 14, 2020

10:00 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1880 Gettysburg
Clovis, CA 93611



Douglas Emery Ward

July 1, 1948 — March 7, 2020



Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1880 Gettysburg, Clovis, California

MAY BE VIEWED ONLINE AT:  https://webcast.churchofjesuschrist.org/view/97559



Clovis Cemetery District

305 N. Villa, Clovis, California



Douglas Emery Ward was born July 1, 1948 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Douglas Tays Ward and Gayle Darlene (Cox) Ward. He is the middle child of the family with a younger brother Jesse Ward and older sister Pamela Butcher. The family moved often for his father’s work living in 5 different states: Utah, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and California. He was an active boy that loved the outdoors but also sang in the school choir. Doug had the ability to make friends quickly, perhaps as a result of his many moves in his youth, but he also worked actively to maintain those friendships throughout his life. 

Doug moved with his family to southern California before his senior year of high school. After graduation, he attended junior college and during that year, he came to the realization that he wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a full time missionary for the next two years in the Gulf States Mission, living and serving in the southern states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. Doug loved this time in his life and again made many more lifelong friends. He credited his mission with helping to develop a deep love of the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as an appreciation of the fact that God knew and loved each of his children. He developed a strong love of serving and helping others. 

Upon returning from the American South, Doug met the absolute love of his life - Karen Jeanette Burton. Karen was a fun and vivacious person herself and their personalities came together quickly to form a union that would last nearly 50 years on this earth and will continue into the eternities. Doug and Karen were married on October 23, 1971 in the Los Angeles temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There was no relationship more important to Doug Ward than the one with his best friend Karen. 

Doug and Karen welcomed their first child, Karalyn (Kari) Jeanette only 10 months after they were married. This began the greatest love of their collective lives - family. Shortly after Kari’s birth, Doug’s work relocated him to the Central Valley of California and the young family moved to Fresno. Doug and Karen would welcome 4 more children in Fresno- Matthew, Jeremy, Kristen and Kelly.  Doug started his own business, Advanced Sweeping, a parking lot cleaning business. While work was never Doug’s focus, he had an undeniably strong work ethic and wanted to provide his family with the best life possible. Eventually Doug and Karen both returned to college, while he continued to work nights, and graduated with teaching credentials. Doug and Karen began their careers as teachers in 1989 and Doug taught at schools in the Fresno Unified School District of Aynesworth, Forkner, Ahwahnee and Computech. He retired in 2017 as the teacher librarian at Computech Middle School. 

Doug and Karen were faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Doug served in many capacities and leadership roles - scout master in the Boy Scouts of America, teacher and counselor to youth, and on two occasions served as bishop or leader of his congregation. Doug loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and would share his beliefs often and in his every day conversations. 

Doug and Karen both derived their greatest joy in their lives from their family. Family vacations were usually camping in the Sierra Nevadas or on the Central California Coast. They were active and enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, hiking and biking - activities they enjoyed through the end of their lives. Doug and Karen also enjoyed traveling and seeing new places.  In the last 20 years, they were blessed to travel around the world visiting dozens of countries and every continent save Antarctica. They preferred to travel with a network of their friends or with family, enjoying and sharing their adventures together. 

Doug and Karen took great pride in the lives and accomplishments of their 5 children, 26 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. They had a unique and special ability to help all their children and grandchildren know that they were important to them and they had unwavering belief in them. They are survived by Karalyn and Robert Christopherson, Matthew and Aimee Ward, Jeremy and Jennifer Ward, Kristen and Doug Reid, and Kelly and Julio Hernandez. Doug is survived by his brother Jess Ward and his sister Pamela Butcher as well as his mother-in-law Jeanette Burton. 

Doug and Karen were tragically killed in an automobile accident on March 5, 2020 in Fresno County.


“Whenever the cold hand of death strikes,

there shines through the gloom and the darkness of that hour

the triumphant figure of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He, the Son of God

who by His matchless and eternal power overcame death.

He is the Redeemer of the world.

He gave His life for each of us.

He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept.

He is our comfort, our only true comfort,

when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us

as the spirit departs the human form.

There stands Jesus the Christ,

the King of glory,

the unblemished Messiah,

the Lord Emmanuel.”

Gordon B. Hinkley



“May God touch you

with His healing hand

and give you the peace and comfort

you need to get through.”





© 2020 Wildrose Chapel & Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS