ForeverMissed
With deep sadness, the family of William Durkin Ward announces his sudden passing on April 19th, 2021, at the age of 29. Bill will forever be remembered as a loving and devout husband to his wife, Laura (Bombard). Laura is comforted by her loving and supportive parents, John and Mary Lynn, and brother, John Bombard. Bill’s mom, Marge, and his brother, Dan (Laura), mourn as Bill joins his late father, Marty, in God’s presence. Bill will always be fondly remembered by his aunts and uncles, Patricia (late Dan) Walsh, Marilyn (Tom) Duhig, Denise Dunleavy, Charlotte (Pat) Buckley, and Kevin (Geri) Ward. Bill will be dearly missed by his cousins Tim (Natalie), Jim, Pat and Brian Buckley, Katie (Mark) Ward, Kelly (Tim) Moore, Marnie (Jason) Milakovich, Maureen (Matt) Horan, late Tommy Duhig Jr, Mary Duhig, Jane (Jim) Saracini, Billy Duhig and Erin Kruse, and Maura, Marlene, and Brian (Maura) Dunleavy.

Bill was a loyal friend to many and his loss is felt by his friends from Kenwood, high school, and beyond. His best friend, Sticks (Nick), will forever remain a source of fond memories shared with Bill. Bill always surrounded himself with company he enjoyed.

Bill was born on June 12th 1991 and was a graduate of Brother Rice High School and Illinois State University. Bill and Laura had been living in Seattle, WA where they often spent their free time hiking the Cascade Mountains and exploring the Pacific Northwest with their dog, Cooper.

A visitation will be held at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home 4727 W. 103rd Street Oak Lawn, on Wednesday, April 28th from 3:00 to 4:00 PM for family, then open to the public from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.
A private mass will be held at St Christina Catholic Church 3342 W 111th St, Chicago, IL on Thursday, April 29th at 11:30 am.followed by a public graveside committal at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery 6001 W. 111th Street Alsip. Those planning on joining the graveside committal should meet on the cemetery grounds near the office parking lot at 12:45PM. Immediately following the graveside burial, a luncheon will be held at Gaelic Park (6119 147th St, Oak Forest, IL).  All are welcome to attend the luncheon and join in the celebration of Bill’s life.

Posted by Kelly Lydon on April 26, 2021
To know Bill was to be loved unconditionally, without question, and without judgement.....

Bill and I met in high-school at a time of great turmoil in my life - my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, a close family friend had passed away, and I was going through a break-up – I was basically living in a country song. Despite only knowing each other for a short time, Bill offered a listening ear and support in a moment where words don’t' reach. 

Yes, it is true, Bill was an exceptional listener..... but it is also accurate to say that he could talk....A LOT. I mean, he could talk about literally anything if there was even the slightest pause in conversation. I remember one time a few of us went to a bar in the city before a concert. When I came back from the bathroom, I saw Bill at the bar talking to a group of five or six people, so naturally, I joined the conversation. After we said our goodbyes to that group, I asked, “Hey Bill, how did you know those people?” and he goes, “Oh, I have absolutely no idea who they are, I just wanted a drink.” I couldn't believe it, ...I was in the bathroom for three minutes, maybe four. But that is the person Bill is.. Approachable, easy-going, fun, loving, and curious. That may be one of my favorite qualities of his, his curiosity....for the truth, justice, fine wine (he could tell you everything from the region the grape was grown, the climate, and the soil needed for the grape to thrive, and why it could only be grown in that specific area and in a specific time period), and cryptocurrency ...to name a few. 

While I joke about his gift of gab, it truly was remarkable to hear him speak with such passion and conviction about the things and people he loved most. The last time Bill and I were together was the end of October. He and Laura were in town, and I hosted some of our south-side friends at my place before I moved to Arizona for a travel RN contract. Bill arrived an hour early (or maybe Marty and Meg Mc were late .. seems more likely) and I will forever cherish those sixty minutes. He gushed over how incredibly happy he was to have married such an amazing woman and how absolutely blessed he was to have found Laura. Since the moment Bill introduced me to Laura, I knew she was the one. I have never seen him smile so much...Laura set his soul on fire. 

That same night, he swelled with pride at the beautiful wedding Mrs. Ward and Laura’s parents had given. I always aspired to have the relationship Bill has with his mom - you are his heart and his home. We talked about our older brothers, and how we probably wouldn’t have gotten away with so many shenanigans in high school and college if it wasn’t for them. Bill recalled fondly of all the times Dan had covered for him and been to the rescue. We both agreed that night that our older brothers deserved a medal for all their valiant efforts, protection, and guidance throughout the years.

That will forever be the greatest gift, to see my best friend so unbelievably and undeniably happy. 

I have so many fond memories of Bill over our past twelve – thirteen years of friendship, I am certain I could write a page for each year. Bill taught me to stay hungry for the truth, ask questions, stay free, and do the absolute best that you can every single day. I know the past year has been filled with much uncertainty, but I am certain of one thing, because Bill taught me so: life is about love, last minutes, and lost evenings.

I will always remember our skype calls in college, our late night talks on my roof when we thought we had everything figured out, how much you could make me laugh until I had tears in my eyes and I was well on my way to six pack abs, how you were the first person I always wanted to know about the good and bad things in my life, how dependable of a friend you are and how phenomenal you have been to everyone in your life. You have been such a shining light in my life, the world feels darker without you in it.

I hope you are resting somewhere high on that mountain, with your favorite phish song playing, and a good vino.
Posted by Maureen Ryan on April 25, 2021
Let Bill’s beautiful spirit soar. Let all his memories bring you on a heartfelt journey.
Posted by Mary Duhig on April 25, 2021
I have known Billy his entire life. He is the youngest of our Durkin cousins and he came into this world blazing and full of mischief. Billy was always exploring and seeking to understand what made things tick. Billy's early exploration contributed to one of the funniest Christmas memories I have to date when Billy was about 2 yrs old. Billy's Mom, Margie was hosting Christmas and we were relaxing after dinner when moments later (out of the corner of my eye), Billy was using his little footy pajamas for traction as he took down the entire Christmas tree where it then laid in the middle of the living room. 

We all knew he had a fire in his belly and his antics left us in hysterics many times. I only babysat Billy once when he was 3 yrs old. It was fun, memorable and exhausting. Shortly thereafter my decision for early retirement of babysitting was made. 
Billy was such a cute little kid and there are many more stories where his insatiable curiosity that led him down interesting paths. 

Jog to adult life when Billy and I really connected deeply. He married an amazing woman and they had wonderful visions of what the future was to hold. 

I smile when I write this, Billy was persistent in the pursuit for truth and justice. Like a crusader, who was trying to elicit real change for the goal of a better world.
He was filled with passion and his vast knowledge was supported by his voracious reading and research habits.
Billy always questioned why and it kept our conversations fascinating.
It was an extra bonus that he had a palate for fine wine and always wanted you to experience the journey of taste along with him. He absolutely was known for ringing the doorbell with his elbows because he never showed up empty handed.

Most of all, Billy had the biggest heart and was a loyal friend to me. Two things I know for sure. He would do anything for me and our family and his beautiful soul is in a magnificent place! 

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Posted by Kelly Lydon on April 26, 2021
To know Bill was to be loved unconditionally, without question, and without judgement.....

Bill and I met in high-school at a time of great turmoil in my life - my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, a close family friend had passed away, and I was going through a break-up – I was basically living in a country song. Despite only knowing each other for a short time, Bill offered a listening ear and support in a moment where words don’t' reach. 

Yes, it is true, Bill was an exceptional listener..... but it is also accurate to say that he could talk....A LOT. I mean, he could talk about literally anything if there was even the slightest pause in conversation. I remember one time a few of us went to a bar in the city before a concert. When I came back from the bathroom, I saw Bill at the bar talking to a group of five or six people, so naturally, I joined the conversation. After we said our goodbyes to that group, I asked, “Hey Bill, how did you know those people?” and he goes, “Oh, I have absolutely no idea who they are, I just wanted a drink.” I couldn't believe it, ...I was in the bathroom for three minutes, maybe four. But that is the person Bill is.. Approachable, easy-going, fun, loving, and curious. That may be one of my favorite qualities of his, his curiosity....for the truth, justice, fine wine (he could tell you everything from the region the grape was grown, the climate, and the soil needed for the grape to thrive, and why it could only be grown in that specific area and in a specific time period), and cryptocurrency ...to name a few. 

While I joke about his gift of gab, it truly was remarkable to hear him speak with such passion and conviction about the things and people he loved most. The last time Bill and I were together was the end of October. He and Laura were in town, and I hosted some of our south-side friends at my place before I moved to Arizona for a travel RN contract. Bill arrived an hour early (or maybe Marty and Meg Mc were late .. seems more likely) and I will forever cherish those sixty minutes. He gushed over how incredibly happy he was to have married such an amazing woman and how absolutely blessed he was to have found Laura. Since the moment Bill introduced me to Laura, I knew she was the one. I have never seen him smile so much...Laura set his soul on fire. 

That same night, he swelled with pride at the beautiful wedding Mrs. Ward and Laura’s parents had given. I always aspired to have the relationship Bill has with his mom - you are his heart and his home. We talked about our older brothers, and how we probably wouldn’t have gotten away with so many shenanigans in high school and college if it wasn’t for them. Bill recalled fondly of all the times Dan had covered for him and been to the rescue. We both agreed that night that our older brothers deserved a medal for all their valiant efforts, protection, and guidance throughout the years.

That will forever be the greatest gift, to see my best friend so unbelievably and undeniably happy. 

I have so many fond memories of Bill over our past twelve – thirteen years of friendship, I am certain I could write a page for each year. Bill taught me to stay hungry for the truth, ask questions, stay free, and do the absolute best that you can every single day. I know the past year has been filled with much uncertainty, but I am certain of one thing, because Bill taught me so: life is about love, last minutes, and lost evenings.

I will always remember our skype calls in college, our late night talks on my roof when we thought we had everything figured out, how much you could make me laugh until I had tears in my eyes and I was well on my way to six pack abs, how you were the first person I always wanted to know about the good and bad things in my life, how dependable of a friend you are and how phenomenal you have been to everyone in your life. You have been such a shining light in my life, the world feels darker without you in it.

I hope you are resting somewhere high on that mountain, with your favorite phish song playing, and a good vino.
Posted by Maureen Ryan on April 25, 2021
Let Bill’s beautiful spirit soar. Let all his memories bring you on a heartfelt journey.
Posted by Mary Duhig on April 25, 2021
I have known Billy his entire life. He is the youngest of our Durkin cousins and he came into this world blazing and full of mischief. Billy was always exploring and seeking to understand what made things tick. Billy's early exploration contributed to one of the funniest Christmas memories I have to date when Billy was about 2 yrs old. Billy's Mom, Margie was hosting Christmas and we were relaxing after dinner when moments later (out of the corner of my eye), Billy was using his little footy pajamas for traction as he took down the entire Christmas tree where it then laid in the middle of the living room. 

We all knew he had a fire in his belly and his antics left us in hysterics many times. I only babysat Billy once when he was 3 yrs old. It was fun, memorable and exhausting. Shortly thereafter my decision for early retirement of babysitting was made. 
Billy was such a cute little kid and there are many more stories where his insatiable curiosity that led him down interesting paths. 

Jog to adult life when Billy and I really connected deeply. He married an amazing woman and they had wonderful visions of what the future was to hold. 

I smile when I write this, Billy was persistent in the pursuit for truth and justice. Like a crusader, who was trying to elicit real change for the goal of a better world.
He was filled with passion and his vast knowledge was supported by his voracious reading and research habits.
Billy always questioned why and it kept our conversations fascinating.
It was an extra bonus that he had a palate for fine wine and always wanted you to experience the journey of taste along with him. He absolutely was known for ringing the doorbell with his elbows because he never showed up empty handed.

Most of all, Billy had the biggest heart and was a loyal friend to me. Two things I know for sure. He would do anything for me and our family and his beautiful soul is in a magnificent place! 
Recent stories
Shared by James Buckley on April 27, 2021
Billy was always a joy to be around. Always good for a laugh. The kind of guy you’d want to be around at a party because you knew he’d keep it interesting. I’ll always remember the way he could light up a room. He was the life of the party more often than not. Much like the time he came over to my Dad’s house for our fantasy football league championship. He won the championship and made sure to rub all our noses in that fact. All while wearing his Big Baller Brand t-shirt. He was truly one of a kind. He was also a man who stood by his beliefs. He was never afraid to be himself. I’ll forever respect him for that. He will truly be missed but always remembered.