Cover photo for James "Bitty" Ward's Obituary
James "Bitty" Ward Profile Photo
1952 James 2022

James "Bitty" Ward

July 22, 1952 — March 4, 2022

James Anthony “Bitty” Ward, 69, San Angelo, passed away Friday night, March 4th.  He was born on July 22, 1952, in Lubbock, Texas to William E. and Reta Ward.

In 1963 he moved to McDade where he attended school and then graduated from Elgin High School in 1970.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a major in physical education and a minor in math from Southwest Texas State University in 1976. He also earned his Drivers’ Education endorsement.

He began his coaching career in Round Rock.  His coaching career took him around the state to Pearsall, Dublin, Elgin, Brenham, Taylor, Granger, S & S, West, Llano, Killeen Shoemaker, Alief Elsik, Bryan Rudder, Whitney, Itasca, Menard, San Augustine, Bartlett, and Lake Worth.  He was most proud of being able to coach his sons, the Granger Football State Championship team of 1997 when he coached the line, his 200 baseball wins as a coach, and the softball program he started at Taylor High School.

He was a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association, Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, and the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (TDTSEA).  He served as president, board member, and regional representative in TDTSEA.

He received the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Award in 2007, the National Honor Roll of American Teachers Award in 2006, a nomination for District 17AAA Baseball Coach of the Year in 2004, the TDTSEA Gene Wilkins Honor Award in 1997, District 25AAAA Softball Coach of the Year in 1995, and TDTSEA Teacher of the Year award in 1994.  He retired from coaching and teaching with 41 years of service.

He loved seeing his grandson on FaceTime, watching Jake, his son, coach his football teams, talking about his pilot son, Jordan, and the C-17s he flies, eating anything cinnamon, and cooking. He loved playing golf and was so happy he made his first and only hole-in-one on his daddy’s birthday.  James also loved riding his Honda Goldwing trike and was his happiest when the wind was in his face.   He was a Christian who believed in God’s promise of eternal life and a member of St. Luke United Methodist Church in San Angelo, Texas.  He was a member of Elgin Lodge No. 328 A.F. & A.M. since 1974 and served as Worshipful Master.  He was a brave warrior and fought more than his fair share of medical battles.  He was blessed with a double lung transplant in 2011 and was a champion for the cause of organ donation.  He worked for Donate Life Texas at numerous events and was an inspiring speaker for them and was always encouraging people to be an organ donor.  He was a good husband, father, grandfather, friend, and coach who will be missed forever by so many.

He was preceded in death by his son, Dallas, in 1980, his father, William E Ward, his grandparents Gene and Marina Ward, John King, and Martha Stewart Baker, and his in-laws, George and Dolly Diebel.

He is survived by his best friend and wife of 48 years, Kathy; his two sons Jordan (Hayley), Jacob (Chelsea); grandson, Micah; mother, Reta Ward; sister, Marina Kastner; brother, John (Susan), many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and many great friends, and Texas High School Coaches across the state.

Family and Friends will gather for Visitation at Elgin Funeral Home, Tuesday, March 8th from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM.  A Celebration of Bitty’s life will be held at Elgin Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 9th at 10:00 AM with Pastor Jim Noble presiding.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Bitty" Ward, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Interment following funeral service

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