Longtime Band Teacher Succumbs to Cancer

Michael Charles Ward passed away in his sleep after a battle with cancer.

Michael Charles Ward, a longtime educator in the Livermore school district, recently passed away.

Ward passed away in his sleep on June 17 after a more than two month battle with cancer, according to an obituary pubished by the Contra Costa Times. He was 65.

Further information from the obituary:

Michael was preceded in death by his wife Diane and parents Ira "Jerry" Ward and Ella "Doris" Ward. Michael graduated Livermore High in 1964, and then went on to San Francisco State University. He taught band and orchestra for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District for 30+ years.

A memorial service will be held at , 2020 Fifth St., in Livermore at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 5. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to be made to Hope Hospice.

View the full obituary on legacy.com.

Beth Wilson July 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Mike and I were music majors together and San Francisco State, and he was always a tease and fun to be around. My son had him for his first band teacher at Joe Michell School, and then after all these years Mike and I played in the Pleasanton Community Concert Band. What a nice man he was! Always sweet, always positive and helpful. He was a real asset to Livermore.
Sam July 02, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I've been in the music program for the Livermore school district for 6 years. To say we have lost a music teacher is a sad thought. But for him to have taught in the music department, it means he was a fantastic teacher. My condolences to his family and to all who knew him and his family
Grandma7 July 02, 2012 at 04:40 PM
God Bless Mike & Diane.... Special Prayers for Chad & Kelly..... Mike instilled a very fond love of flute in both my daughters....They loved him as much as they loved the flute. He was missed when he retired and he will be sorely missed, from now on. My grandson played in two school concerts, recently, and the family was VERY disappointed that Mike wasn't there. Thank you Mike, for wonderful memories....
Tammi July 02, 2012 at 10:44 PM
My thoughts are with his family. He was a wonderful music teacher. I remember him from my days as a student and he was still teaching when my kids were in middle school. He really made a positive difference for my youngest son. I also enjoyed seeing him each year in the Rodeo parade leading his band... He will be missed.
OhMamma July 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
He was a wonderful teacher, with so much passion to share. He did so much to keep music in our schools, and make it fun to learn. He'll be sorely missed.
PATRICIA HUGHES July 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I had the pleasure of working with Mike for many, many years, teaching music for the Livermore School District. I was proud to call him my friend and will miss his smiling face and warm open heart. Mike was always ready with something humerous to say when you needed a good laugh or ready with a hug or listening ear when your heart was troubled. He touched many lives, both making music and teaching thousands of students over the years. My one happy thought is that he is finally reunited with his beloved, Diane. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
R F July 06, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I just now learned of Mr. Ward's passing. I wish I could have paid my respects for him at the memorial. He was my 6th grade band teacher at Junction Avenue Middle School back in '85-86. He helped me to find my niche. That year I went from the violin, to alto saxophone, to the bass saxophone, but I was too short to reach all the keys. Finally, he guided me to the cornet - which he kindly explained to my confused 11 year old self that it wasn't a "clarinet", but rather it's like a trumpet, but different. That was the first of many years and friendships that started from playing that instrument. I wish I could have thanked you personally, Mr. Ward. You will be missed.
AnnF July 06, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Mr Mike Ward was both my children's music teacher at Junction. He was always so nice to them and I am sorry to hear he has past. I always found him to be a kind and happy man.
Victoria Frye July 09, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Mr. Ward was not just a teacher but a roll model for many of us. My brother was his student in the 80s, and I had the pleasure of being his student in the 90s. After graduating from Junction, I got the chance to work as his color guard instructor for the next few years. There was not a moment when he did not go above and beyond for me, the color guard students at Junction (many of which where not in his music class, and were in an after school program), the color guard students at Mendenhall, and my family. Mr. Ward was like another father to me, always reminding me to "K.I.S.S- Keep it simple stupid." His passion for music, education, and making everyone feel they were important were some of his strongest suits. I am honored to have had Mr. Michael Ward as a mentor.


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