Categorized | Arts, Carousel, Entertainment

SLIDE SHOW: Celebrating Tom Ward

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 4/1/16, the Barge Restaurant, Perth Amboy *Photos by Paul W. Wang

PERTH AMBOY – The Barge Restaurant in Perth Amboy was the setting for the celebration of Perth Amboy Artist Tom Ward’s life and legacy. Ward, whose works of art can be found inside and outside of many local businesses, private residents and the Mayor’s Office passed away in October 12, 2015.

Barge Owner Alex Vosinas was the driving force in putting this event together. Ward’s paintings and drawings can be found throughout the Barge on the main dining level and the private hall upstairs. Most of Ward’s paintings in the Barge depicted Waterfront settings. Ward was also a tireless worker on different Municipal Boards which he served on. Ward was also one of the regular customers of the Barge where he would join others and engage in social conversation.

One of Tom Ward’s closest friends, David Barlics, shared his memories and introduced others who spoke highly of Ward. One speaker recalled how Ward helped to restore paintings in local churches. One story teller told how Ward was commissioned by a former Mayor to do a painting that this Mayor who did not go through proper channels to have this done. The City could not purchase this unauthorized painting. This painting was subsequently purchased by the Gus Novak of the Novak Home for funerals who admired it.

Ward dedicated 30 years of his life to the restoration the Proprietary House. He was so dedicated to making sure the restoration was done properly that  not even having a broken arm and ribs would prevent him from overseeing the work that was being done.

The most poignant moment of the evening was when Gary Rumpf told the story of how Ward was devastated when he lost the love of his life, his wife Betty. They had been married for over 30 years and very devoted to each other. So much so that Ward died a few months after she died. Rumpf said, “I never saw Ward knocked for such a loop as when Betty died (July 6, 2015).”

One speaker read a poem which was repeated by the guests. She led the guests in song with: “That’s what friends are for.” (Composed by Burt Bacharach & Carole B. Sager)

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