Neighborhood John “Josh” | Obituary


John “Josh” Ward: A friend, son, father, grandfather, ski patroller, forest firefighter, captivating storyteller, dad joke teller, great skier, and overall entertaining human being. The man liked to ski; he left us Thursday March 10 doing what he loved in a place he truly enjoyed.

Josh grew up in the mountain town of Lake Arrowhead, California. Coming from a family of skiers, he learned very young the joys of sliding on the snow. Family ties to the Wood River Valley brought him here as a youngster, where he honed his skiing skills on Dollar Mountain. At 19, Josh moved to the area and worked building bikes while volunteering with Ketchum Fire. After a few years away from the Valley, he returned in 2016 when he was hired at Sun Valley as an elevator operator (you may remember his big smile as he banged chairs at the bottom of the old Cold Springs elevator). Josh was hired for the Dollar Mountain Ski Patrol in the winter of 2017. He has worked as a patroller for the past five winters, his presence has filled the cabin and the mountain with laughter and comedy.

After the snow started to melt here in Ketchum, Josh would head to Bend, Oregon, where he could do more Bachelor skiing before starting his fire season. During the summers, Bend was Josh’s home base, where he was close to family and friends in between firefighting roles.

Josh was a passionate man, enthusiastic about life and living it to the full. Josh was the kind of person you might meet once, but never forget. He liked to tell stories and make people laugh. Some of his favorite stories included times with his children and grandson and also remembering his last trip to In-N-Out. His love for skiing and mountain biking kept him in the mountains of Ketchum and Bend.

Over the past week, friends and family have been sharing stories of Josh, reliving the joys, laughs and shenanigans he filled our lives with. Friends and family are invited to come celebrate Josh’s life on Wednesday, March 23 at Dollar Mountain. The ski procession will start at 5:30 p.m. Please join us at the base of the mountain to watch and celebrate a life well lived.


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