Rev. J. Ward Tressler, 94, of Birdseye Blvd., Fremont, Ohio, completed his ministry on earth January 9, 2011, and is with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born on April 6, 1916, in Meyersdale, PA, to Joseph I. and Catherine (Bird) Tressler. He married Agnes Fay on June 15, 1946, in Elyria, OH, and she survives.
Ward was a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Ward worked at the Pennsylvania coal mines for eight years prior to entering the ministry. He served as a Grace Brethren pastor for the past 64 years. Ward served the following Grace Brethren churches starting in 1948: Chico, CA for six years; Altoona, PA for six years; Lansing MI for six years; Fremont, OH for thirteen years; Kokomo, IN for three years; Clayhole, KY for four years; Dayton, OH for two years; his home church in Meyersdale, PA for two years.
He returned to Fremont, OH in 1989, where he was currently on the staff of Grace Community Church. He was the pastor of Grace Brethren in Fremont, OH when they purchased the land on Smith Road and moved the church to their current location, 900 Smith Road.
During Ward’s tenure of being a pastor he built several churches and started several others with Grace Brethren Home Missions Council. He also had the privilege of being involved in the erasure of several building debts and the burning of three mortgages.
Ward received the CE National Honors Award for the Most Outstanding Senior Adult in the area of Senior Adult Ministry in 2006. He was president of the Ministerial Association of Altoona and also co-founded the Evangelical Ministerial Association of Greater Lansing. Ward also had a radio ministry on WFRO for 13 years. He enjoyed trains and traveling, and was very compassionate about people near and far away.
Ward is survived by his wife, Agnes Tressler, Fremont, OH: daughters Rachel Kisman, Castalia OH, Deborah (Les) Cancel, Sacramento, CA and Lois (David) Harmon, Jerseyville, IL; grandchildren Sheryl (Matt) Simko, Tami Gee, Davey and Kendra Kishman, Victor and Jac Cancel, Stephen (Maggie), Timothy and Jonathan Harmon; nephew Roland (Karen) Maust, who pastors the Grace Brethren church in Uniontown, PA.
Ward was dearly loved by his family. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Virginia Maust; son-in-law, Harvey Kishman.
Visitation will be Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 900 Smith Road, Fremont, OH. Funeral service will be Friday, January 14 at 11 a.m. at the church with visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. Pastor Kevin Pinkerton will officiate.
Burial will be at Greenlawn Memory Gardens, Clyde, OH. Memorials may be sent to Grace Community Church. Online condolences to www.wonderlyhorvathhanes.com.