(Dec. 30, 10:10 a.m.) James “J.D.” Ward, a produce salesman in the Fresno, Calif., area for nearly 25 years, died after a lengthy illness. Funeral services for Ward, 55, were Dec. 20 in Lenox, Iowa.

Upon his discharge from the U.S. Marines in the 1970s, Ward worked in construction in the Seattle, Wash. area until a back injury forced him out of the industry, said Jay Stover, a longtime friend and salesman at Fazio Marketing Inc., Fresno, Calif.

In the early 1980s, Ward relocated to California to join the Fresno sales staff of San Francisco-based Mendelson-Zeller Co. Inc., where his mother, the late Ruth Sanders, was sales manager, Stover said. When Mendelson-Zeller was sold, Sanders and Ward founded Sierra View Sales, Fresno, in 1989, Stover said. The pair sold Sierra View Sales to Jerry Scharton in 2002.

After his mother’s death in June 2006, Ward retired and moved to Lenox, Iowa, to be closer to relatives. Survivors include his son, James Ward III, of Everett, Wash., his half-brother Trey Ward of Albuquerque, N.M. and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.