James “Jim” Byron Ward of Odessa passed away on Friday, January 6, 2023.
Jim was born in Odessa on October 20, 1955, to Barney and Virginia Ward. Jim attended Permian High School and the University of Texas at the Permian Basin before following in his father’s footsteps as an owner and operator of the Cashway Lumber stores in Odessa. For more than 50 years, Jim was committed to running the business with his nephews, Stacy and Mitch Bledsoe as well as other family members. Jim and his family will remain indebted to the many long-term employees and customers of Cashway Lumber.
Jim married his wife, Kristie Esparza on July 2, 2017, near their home in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Jim’s first love was his family; he enjoyed cheering on his grandchildren and others in their academic and athletic endeavors. Football and sunshine were his other loves. He rarely missed an opportunity to watch football and set his schedule by the stadium lights at Ratliff Stadium. If he wasn’t working in his yard or tinkering at his home, he was on the golf course with his friends and family.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Barney and Ginny Ward; his father-in-law, Tony Esparza; sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Robin Bledsoe; brother-in-law, Mike McAnally; and grandson, Zane Herriage.
Jim leaves behind his wife, Kristie Ward; her son, Jordan Esparza and his children, Mason, Cadence and Dawson. Jim’s daughter, Heather Herriage, Kristin Groves and their children, Chance, Cannon, Caycee, Faith, Farrah and Fallyn, and his son Brad Ward and his daughters Katie and Lacey. Additionally, he leaves his first wife, Debra Ward, his sister, Jeanette McAnally, sister, Sandy Smith and her husband Cleo; sister, Robin DeMaio and her husband Den DeMaio. His nieces, nephews, and their families will greatly miss him. Many will miss Jim’s presence, but his impact will live on in the lives and hearts of those he has touched.
A small ceremony will be held for family and close friends at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home at 1:00 PM, Thursday, January 12, 2023, with a burial to follow. Reverend Kyle Rogers will be officiating. Pallbearers will be Jordan Esparza and Tristan Zambrano.
The family wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the staff at Medical Center Hospital.