Michael H. Ward, age 76, died peacefully at home on July 30th, 2020. Born July 1st, 1944, he was the beloved son of the late A.J. Ward and Anna Mary (Murray)Ward.
Mike grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and eventually moved to Boston before settling full time in Chatham. Mike taught English at the college level for several years. In 1980 he became a certified Transactional Analyst and was a psychotherapist in private practice until his retirement in 2014.
Mike was a generous human being and dedicated activist, beginning with the early gay rights movement in the 1970’s. Mike worked as a volunteer for the AIDS Action Committee in the 1980's during the height of the AIDS epidemic following the loss of his partner Mark Halberstadt. He wrote a poignant memoir about this relationship, The Sea is Quiet Tonight, which was published in 2016.
Mike was instrumental, along with author Adam Mastoon, in creating The Shared Heart, a book of photographs and stories that chronicled the lives of 40 GLBTQ youth. Both this and his memoir provided inspiration and guidance for countless GLBTQ adolescents and adults. He was also dedicated to the work of the Franciscan Nuns of the Christine Center in Wisconsin. He served on their board of directors and worked tirelessly to raise the funds needed for a new chapel. Mike was proud of his 29 years of sobriety; a shout out to all his PAUSE buddies of Orleans.
Mike is survived by his loving husband Moe Melchiono and cat Jack. He is also survived by the following siblings: Joe, Dan, Jeanne, Judy, John and wife Erin, and Jeff and wife Allegra; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Tom, and in-laws Pat (Joe Ward), Carmen (Dan Ward), Chuck (Judy Milner) and close family friend Joan Martin. The family also acknowledges the deep compassion and care of friends Rosanne Annoni and Richard Hunt, Mike and Moe’s adopted Cranberry Cousins, the Bartlett Family, and our goddaughter, Lily Olin.
A memorial service to celebrate Mike's life will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike's memory may be made to "Mercy Beyond Borders" at http://www.mercybeyondborders.org attention Sister Marilyn Lacey. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com