Longtime former Langley Township councillor Grant Ward has died at the age of 80, following a brief battle with cancer.
Ward’s son Tony Ward posted the news on Grant Ward’s Facebook page, saying that Ward had died on Sept. 30.
According to Tony Ward, his father only learned of the cancer about a month before his passing. He and his wife Vera spent the first part of September visiting family, and after suffering a significant decline on his return, he had to enter hospital and then hospice.
Ward tried his luck at municipal politics in 1999, and was first successfully elected as a Township councillor in 2002, and served until 2014, when he was defeated.
A former RCMP officer, he arrived in Langley while still serving with the force in 1970, where he established the detachment’s first dedicated Traffic Detail.
Five years later, he was transferred and promoted, but he remained a Langley resident, and would live here for five decades.
After his retirement from the RCMP, Ward became a local business owner and was an enthusiastic recreational pilot. Before being elected to the Township council, he was involved in various community events, including chairing the Langley Canada Day Celebrations, as a director of the Downtown Langley Merchants Association, and with On-Stage-Langley.
He served on council under three mayors, starting with Kurt Alberts, then Rick Green, and finally Jack Froese.
“He will be greatly missed,” said Coun. Petrina Arnason, who was chairing Monday’s council meeting. “Our thoughts and prayers will be with his family at this sad time.”
“You could always count on him,” Froese recalled of Ward.
If he couldn’t make it to a community event, Ward was always willing to step in and represent the Township council, Froese recalled.
“He was a fine public servant, and a fine gentleman,” Froese said.
Former mayor Kurt Alberts also remembered Ward’s reliability in both political and private life, and his love of his family.
“Family always came first for Grant,” Alberts said.
He remembered Ward’s love of square dancing and barbershop quartet singing.
When Alberts started a Memory Grove treeplanting project in Fort Langley some years ago, Ward was the first to sign up.
Everyone had the chance to name their tree.
“Grant and Vera’s tree is named Toodle-oo,” Alberts said.
After leaving Township politics, Ward remained active in the community, nominating pilot and former Langley Airport manager George Miller for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.