Joseph Raymond Ward passed away on December 5, 2022, in Grants Pass, Oregon, after seventy-one years spent roaming the ranches, racetracks, forests, and beaches that border the Pacific Ocean.
Joey was born in Santa Barbara, California, to Joseph Richard and Shirley Ann (Medaris) Ward, on November 14, 1951. His father was a foreman in Hope Ranch and Gaviota Ranch before moving the family to Vallecito Street and later Carrillo Street in Santa Barbara proper.
Joey embraced hobbies like woodworking, fishing, and camping at an early age. He loved taking his boat to Lake Nacimiento for water skiing and roaring across the beach in his Sand Rail or BSA two-stroke motorcycle while racing his brother home. He also cultivated a reputation for "raising a ruckus" at local bars like Yankee Clipper and Casey Jones and racing his 1967, 390 big-block Mustang up and down State Street.
Joey worked at Tanner Yellow Cab SB while finishing high school and then joined the Marines. When his military service ended, Joey spent three years of the early 70s wielding a chainsaw, the "tool of choice" of the Ozena Hotshots and the Santa Lucia Ranger District while providing wildland fire protection to the Los Padres Santa Ynez Watershed.
He also invested much of his free time in anything involving race cars, from the dirt tracks at The Santa Maria Speedway, followed by multiple journeys to watch NASCAR races in person. Joey then joined Pete Johnston Chevrolet as its Parts Department Manager. His knowledge and experience made him a valuable addition to numerous auto dealerships when he relocated to Tracy, CA.
Joey was also at one time a Boy Scout troop leader and a mechanic and after working all week in a garage would spend his weekends "going into the garage to wrench on cars", including some that his sons owned. Those included a 1943 Willys Jeep, 1968 Pontiac LeMans, and a 1969 Pontiac Firebird.
In addition to Tracy, CA, Joey left memories of big Sunday breakfasts while watching Nascar, an enduring enchilada recipe, and reminders of the "unconditional love he had for his children" in Paso Robles CA, Coos Bay OR, and Canyonville OR.
Joey was blessed to be a husband and father to two families. He married his first wife Teena Pinero and he is survived by his three sons and their wives Jeremiah and Sarah, Aaron and Jessica, and Joseph and Kristy, and his grandchildren Jamie, Ariel.
Also, surviving is his second wife Barbara, who he married in 2019, and her children Nate, Caleb, Emily, Corinne, and Brianna and grandchildren KJ, Chiquita, Korban, Fynn, Kaden, Spencer, and Max.
Joey precedes his siblings, and their spouses Gloria and Daniel Salgado, James and Karen Ward, and Richard Ward, his cousins Allen and Lissa Cordero, and his brother-in-law Michael and sister-in-law Diane Babayco, in addition to numerous friends and loved ones.
Services will be held next Summer in the El Dorado National Forest where he spent time camping and fishing with his sons. Memorials may be made to Trout Unlimited.