David John Ward
unknown - December 20, 2011
David John Ward, also known as “Paco,” passed away peacefully Dec. 20, 2011, at his home on St. John with his wife, Cindy, at his side. He was 62 and had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2008.
Paco grew up in San Diego. He attended Loma Portal Elementary School, the International School in Geneva, Switzerland, and Richard Henry Dana Jr. High School. He graduated in June 1967 from Point Loma High School, where he lettered in tennis. His big love was racing small sailboats out of San Diego Yacht Club, following in his father’s footsteps. When sailing, he usually was accompanied by great friend Jimmy Oberg.
Paco attended the University of Colorado Boulder, starting in fall 1967, and joined the Chi Psi fraternity. His fraternity brothers gave him the nickname Paco because they thought he looked Mexican, although he didn’t know a word of Spanish.
In 1970, he moved from Boulder to his favorite place of all time, Steamboat Springs, and began 20-plus years of constant, fun-filled skiing. He became quite well known as a skier and skied professionally on the Pro Mogul Tour. He won several local pro ski events in a row. He used to say that he was “going to the office” — by which he meant skiing Lift Line to Whiteout, over and over.
In Steamboat, working restaurants became a big part of his life. He managed two of them and waited tables. But he always said that the most important thing that happened in Steamboat was meeting Cindy Turner. They were married Oct. 20, 1984, in Steamboat. He and Cindy have many fabulous friends here in Steamboat, and most are truly like brothers and sisters.
In a bold move, Paco and Cindy picked up stakes in 1990 and began an island adventure by moving to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They bought a 32-foot sailboat (“Mai Pen Ri”) and lived on it for five years, often sailing to nearby islands. In 1996, they started their own property management company, Carefree Getaways. This required a lot of hard work but turned out to be quite successful. He loved their home in St. John, but December and January visits each year to their condo in Ski Time Square allowed Paco to get his annual ski fix.
In December, Paco’s long-time friend James McGavin flew in from Australia with his bride-to-be, Jeanne, and were married at the Wards’ house so Paco could be the best man with great friends Arne and Happy also in attendance.
Paco’s and Cindy’s family has been very important to them, including sister Susan and husband, Glen Schofield; nephews Conor and Taylor Schofield; brother Robert Ward; John and Gail Turner; Hayley, Barrett and Beth Turner; Jackie and Jeff Guthrie; Gene and Sally Turner; and his beloved godchildren, Andrew and Kristina Becht.
His wife often said, “He was the kindest person I have ever known.” His smile and positive attitude will be missed by all.
A celebration in Paco’s memory will be Feb. 4, 2012, with family and friends.