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Published: Monday, 11/5/2001

Navy man witnessed Japanese surrender

Dorsey Ward, a retired Doehler Jarvis employee who, while serving in the Navy, was present at the signing of the Japanese surrender to end World War II, died Saturday of cancer in his home. He was 76.

Mr. Ward was an inspector and later a supervisor at the Doehler Jarvis plant on Smead Avenue from the late 1940s to the early 1980s, retiring because of illness.

“He talked often of how pleased he was to be aboard the USS Missouri for the signing of the surrender of the Japanese,” Hortense Ward, his wife of 52 years, said. “He was proud to be part of history.”

Drafted into the Navy while he was attending Clark College in Atlanta, Mr. Ward was an officer's cook in the Navy. He was brought to the USS Missouri for the day to witness the surrender ceremony, she said.

After he was discharged on Dec. 19, 1945, Mr. Ward moved to Toledo, where he had relatives. He worked a short time at Smith's Cafeteria before he was hired at Doehler Jarvis.

During the 1950s, he was a pitcher for the Toledo Bombers, a Negro League baseball team.

Mr. Ward formerly was a member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where he served on the senior usher board. In later years, he was a member of the United Missionary Baptist Church, where he was a member of the board of trustees, the board of Christian education, and the new members ministry.

He was a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo, helping with its annual Christmas party at the Sports Arena. He was a board member and volunteer at the Frederick Douglass Community Association.

A member and volunteer of the NAACP, he and his wife were victims of racism when vandals threw rocks through windows at their South Toledo home several days after moving into the house. Suspects were later arrested.

“He was furious, and I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack,” Mrs. Ward said. “His faith helped him through it.”

For many years, Mr. Ward chaired the Fox Lake Home Owners' Association annual golf tournament in Angola, Ind., where the couple owned a cottage.

Surviving are his wife, Hortense; daughter, Brenda Frazier; brother, John; sister, Charlie Mae Wilson, and a granddaughter.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in United Missionary Baptist Church. The body will be in the Dale Funeral Home after 3 p.m. tomorrow. The family requests that any tributes be to the scholarship fund of the board of Christian education of the church.



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