May 22, 2018
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Funeral arrangements set for former Bangor man shot at Arizona Christmas party

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Jeff Ward
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Memorial services have been scheduled for a former Bangor man shot to death last week by a man who fired a gun into a group of holiday revelers in Tempe, Ariz., according to police.

Jeff Ward, 28, son of Jim and Debbie Ward of Bangor, died on Dec. 8. His parents and sister, Kelly Ward of Bangor, traveled to Arizona last week to celebrate his life with his friends from that area, according to family friend Elizabeth Wilson.

Visiting hours are scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Friday at Brookings-Smith on Center Street in Bangor and Ward’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with the Rev. Renee U. Garrett, a minister of Christian nurture at All Souls Congregational Church, officiating, according to his obituary.

The 2004 Bangor High School graduate was shot by a man who lived in the same apartment building where the holiday party was being held, police said. The suspect was kicked out of the gathering twice before returning with a gun, Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley said Dec. 9.

Daniel Taylor, 18, who lives in the apartment complex at 850 S. River Drive with his mother and is unemployed, was arrested after a standoff and charged with first-degree murder and a second charge of aggravated assault because he also shot and injured a woman, police said.

“Jeff grew up in Bangor, where he was active in youth sports, Dirigo Search and Rescue, and academic pursuits, such as Odyssey of the Mind,” his obituary states. “He loved the outdoors — hiking, biking, skiing, rock climbing, camping. He spent many happy hours at his family’s summer camp at Nickerson Lake, enjoying all the lake had to offer.”

After graduating from high school, Ward went west to attend Arizona State University, where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and studied architecture and design. He was living in Scottsdale, Ariz. and most recently was employed by Google.

Ward had a natural curiosity and a “close-knit extended family, and a wide circle of friends from all over the country,” his obituary states.

His family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor, after the service.

Those interested in making a donation in Jeff Ward’s memory can contact the Nickerson Lake Conservation Fund in Houlton. Condolences to the family may be expressed at Brookings-Smith ’s website.

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