BRUNSWICK — James E. Ward III, 74, died Nov. 11 at his home.
Born in Greenville, S.C., to James E. Ward Jr. and Margaret Hobgood Ward, he spent his childhood in Nashville, Tenn. There he attended the Peabody Demonstration School, which was affiliated with the George Peabody College for Teachers. He later graduated from Vanderbilt University and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics at the University of Virginia.
He married Mary Lee Parker, whom he met at Vanderbilt, in 1962.
Ward was a faculty member at Bowdoin College for 42 years, serving as professor of mathematics and retiring in 2010. In addition to being known as an outstanding teacher who loved Bowdoin and its students, he served as chairman of the Mathematics Department, director of the Senior Center and dean of the college.
He was an avid member of the Bowdoin Noon-Time Basketball Association for many years, and was widely recognized for his red hair and his bicycle, which he rode around campus.
Ward’s life was an embodiment of the spirit of the liberal arts and an example to his students and others. He was curious, thoughtful, energetic and deeply engaged in a range of activities and causes. He was elected to the board of governors of the Mathematical Association of America, and held several offices in its Northeast Section. As a young graduate student, he spent a year teaching at Spelman College in Georgia during the height of the civil rights movement. Later he taught as a Fulbright Scholar on two trips to Africa.
He also served the people of Brunswick and mid-coast Maine in various capacities, including as a board member for local organizations supporting social services, anti-poverty efforts, health care and musical theater. He was also a two-term member and chairman of the Brunswick School Board. An active member of the First Parish Church in Brunswick, Ward also served on the board of the Bangor Theological Seminary.
Ward is survived by his wife, Mary Lee of Brunswick; two sons, James E. Ward IV of Falls Church, Va., and Robert Parker Ward and wife Sara, of River Forest, Ill.; a daughter, Margaret Ward Scott and husband Derek, of Atlanta; a brother, Harry Hobgood Ward and his wife Helen Ann, of Brentwood, Tenn.; and eight grandchildren, Katherine Ward, Ellen Ward, Jack Ward, Timothy Ward, Sadie Ward, Jake Scott, Andrew Scott and William Scott.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 29., at 2 p.m. at the First Parish Chursh in Brunswick.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, 84 Union St., Brunswick, ME 04011, or to the First Parish Church, 9 Cleaveland St., Brunswick, ME O4011.