Bronx, New York – Ward F. Pierson, 60, died peacefully on January 19, 2019. Ward was dearly loved by family and friends throughout his life.  Born in Rochester, NY,  Ward cherished his summers at his beloved grandparent’s home on Lake Ontario in Pultneyville . His love of music was known by all, especially his love of Abba, Cher, and Linda Rhonstadt. As a young man, he attended Elizabeth Seaton College and went on to a career in Grant Management, working in New York City and later in Boston, MA.  He treasured his time-off in the Poconos with dear friends. Ward moved to Provincetown, MA where he lived until 2015.  He has since lived in the NYC area.Diagnosed with HIV in 1997, Ward became active helping others deal with the grief of diagnosis as well as helping them learn of resources available. He was a champion for Gay Rights. Known by all for his quick wit and colorful (sometimes off-color) humor, Ward will be dearly missed.Ward is survived by his siblings: Frank Pierson, Katie Colden (his twin,) Louise Spencer and Bill Pierson, his nieces: Katherine, Abby, Rachael, Kristy, Melissa, Anna, Emily, Elizabeth and Erika. He is also survived by many grand nieces and nephews.His journey was made more joyous because of so many good friends, especially the Steinbachers and Mike Greene. Ward was predeceased by his parents, Murray Pierson and Bill Pierson of Rochester.

A celebration of life will be held on February 23 at 2:00 in Larchmont, NY.  Please contact the family at  or on Facebook to let us know if you can join us and for more information.

Memorial contributions may be made to The AIDS Support Group, 148a Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657.  508-487-8311

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From Dead Squirrels to Best Friends

Shared by Martha Cole on February 20, 2019

The day my family drove to our new house in Rochester, NY was one fraught with anxiety, hope, and excitement. This was our second move in as many years and at nine years old I was feeling unsettled and untethered. We pulled onto Newcastle Road and I turned my head to look at two kids my age huddled at the curbs edge. They were squatting together, heads almost touching, looking downwards. Then I realized that they were looking at a dead squirrel that lay in the gutter and the boy was poking it with a stick. Just then my mother called out, "This is it, our new home!" I raised my eyes to see a yard of waist high grass and overgrown pine trees blocking a monstrous house. I glanced back in time to see the boy and girl look up from the gutter and notice our car turning into the driveway. My heart sunk to the very bottom of my toes. My parents had moved us to a haunted house in a place where kids played with roadkill.

Little did I know that Ward and Katie would come to be my best friends for many years and that Ward and I would play for countless hours using our imagination and whatever we found in nature to create a magical miniature world we named "Dirt City." While we never used roadkill in our play I realized that it was that moment in my life and the feelings that I was trapped in that skewed my view of Ward and Katie and the squirrel. I shared the curiosity and innovation with my fellow explorers of the gutter and that was the door that opened our friendship. Katie and I grew apart as we got older, but Ward and I stayed friends all through high school. I will always miss you Ward, my oldest BFF.