Dean Thomas Ward
December 5, 1950 - January 7, 2024

Dean Thomas Ward, 73, of Leland NC and formerly of Peabody MA, died suddenly at home on January 7, 2024 as a result of a ruptured aneurysm.  Dean leaves behind his best friend and loving wife, Kathleen Giadone, and two children, Nicholas and Caitlin, as well as his son-in-law Taylor Spear and three grandchildren, Hudson, Piper, and Sadie.  He is also survived by his sisters Sher Ward, and Tracy Puiia, and his brothers Roy Ward, Charles Ward and Thomas Peele.  Many other family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues will remember Dean warmly for his big laugh and bigger heart.

Dean was born in 1950 in Chelsea, MA to the late K. Frances (nee Kershaw) and Walter Ward.  He grew up in Freeport, ME and Saugus, MA and loved to tell long-winded stories about camping in the woods with his friends, his one-armed grandfather who ran a sawmill, or hiding his Beatle boots from his mother in a tree stump.  He was a lifelong Sox fan and loved listening to games on the radio.  At just 20, he fell in love with the beautiful girl behind the counter at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Rt. 1 in Saugus and never looked back.  After a lovely first date with Kathleen at the Ice Capades, they spent the rest of their early courtship carting her many younger siblings around with them to the drive-in or the beach.  They were married in 1976 and six years later they started their own family.

Dean was a fun, involved, and devoted father.  He coached sports teams, was a Boy Scout leader (and father of an Eagle Scout), and never missed a recital or competition.  He loved family dinners at home and always said there was no restaurant that could compare to Kathleen’s cooking!  Whether lakeside in Maine, cruising through California, or going wild in Disney World, family vacations were always important and so much fun to Dean.  He and Kathleen happily retired to North Carolina so they could spend more time with their young grandchildren.  Hudson, Piper, and Sadie were one of the greatest joys of Dean’s life.

Dean worked at GE Aircraft Engines in Lynn, MA for 42 years.  After beginning as an 18 year old apprentice, he became an all-around machinist, then a union steward and eventually moved into management.  In 1985, he earned a degree in Industrial Management from Northeastern University.  He was well respected, but it was Dean’s light-hearted demeanor and “firm, fair, and friendly” approach that endeared him to so many.  His family would joke that he couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone he knew from work.  He also spoke fondly of his time working at Paradigm and at Jolly Jorge’s in Saugus.

Dean was very happy in retirement.  He loved to golf, work on jigsaw puzzles, and had recently taken up stained glass. He also really enjoyed being part of dinner club and trivia nights with the neighbors.   Dean was very happy to celebrate his 48th wedding anniversary and was always Kathleen’s biggest fan, admiring her art, cooking, and quilting but mostly saying she was “just so beautiful.”

At 45, Dean was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma, but after intensive treatments, had been cancer-free for many years.  He was always grateful to have survived and actively worked with the Melanoma Education Foundation to help others identify and get treatment for melanoma.  In lieu of flowers, his family asks that a donation be made in his name to the MEF.

Dean (aka Deano, El Deaño, Dad, Papa, and The Sloth) was a joyful, kind, grateful and happy man, and we will never forget his incredible legacy of laughter, family, and love.  A celebration of life will be held at Kathleen and Dean’s home on Sunday, January 14th from 2-5.  For further information, please reach out to Caitlin at 978-979-4247 or Taylor at 518-929-1878

Arrangements are in the care of Coastal Cremations, 6 Jacksonville Street, Wilmington, NC.


  • Pat and John Jackson Posted January 9, 2024 3:57 pm

    We are so heartbroken to hear of Deans passing. Will always be remembered as being larger than life with his big smile and constant enthusiasm for life. Prayers to Kathleen, Caity and the entire family.

  • Susan and Bill McHardy Posted January 9, 2024 10:39 pm

    Bill and I are absolutely devastated to hear of Deans’ passing. He was always so happy and full of life and laughter. Some of my favorite memories included both you and Dean. Our hearts are truly broken.
    Love Sue and Bill McHardy

  • Janet LaPointe Posted January 10, 2024 12:05 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to Dean. It captures his essence in such heartfelt words. My heart is broken for the loss of this beautiful person to his family and friends. Kathleen, you and yours are in my heart and prayers. He will be truly missed.

  • Norman & Anne Furtado Posted January 10, 2024 6:16 pm

    Our prayers go out to Kathleen and the family . A fellow Apprentice , GE and Paradigm employee and friend from the same home town he will be missed.

  • Eddy and Peggy Culpepper Posted January 10, 2024 6:35 pm

    Eddy and I are so heartbroken for you and your family. Dean was such a happy friendly man. We are so honored to have known him.

  • Mike Gilmartin and Sharon Boelcskevy Posted January 10, 2024 7:19 pm

    We will remember Dean as a good man and friend, and we had too little time with him. Our hearts go out to Kathleen and the family.

  • Steven Hopkins Posted January 10, 2024 7:55 pm

    Shocked. Worked with Dean at GE and Paradigm. Great guy and had many laughs. 3 yrs younger than me. Again,I’m shocked.

  • Susan Mooskian Posted January 10, 2024 8:58 pm

    Kathy & family
    Elly & I wanted to extend our deepest sympathy.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    God Speed Dean

  • Richard Dow Posted January 12, 2024 4:05 pm

    I work with and for Dean for many years at GE couldn’t have a fairer or better boss and being a caring guy all the guys on the floor respected him a lot he always tried to keep everyone happy which isn’t always easy dealing with a bunch of us west lynners sincerely Dicky Dow

  • Tony and Caroline Marzelli Posted January 14, 2024 12:08 am

    Our heartfelt sympathy to Kathleen and all the family. Visited in Leland in 2020 and was treated so well , saw happy life., beautiful home . Same great guy I remember from family parties 45 years ago. Agree with Janet that this tribute tells beautifully of a life well lived.

  • Mike Morrill Posted January 18, 2024 7:28 am

    Kathy….my condolences to you and your family. Such a loss and way too young. We started the same day on the apprentice course and had so much fun during the softball years on the IC’s.

  • Ted &Becky Carr Posted January 21, 2024 2:36 pm

    Kathy Our condolences to you and your family. We have so many fond memories of Dean with his great sense of humor and love for life. He will be missed.

  • Christine Kennedy Posted January 23, 2024 11:35 am

    Sending prayers for comfort to you and your family during this difficult time with my condolences for your loss.
    Be comforted by the words of Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” God bless you and your family

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