Children of Fresno couple killed in car accident remember parents

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Messages of love from their grandchildren now sit at the corner where a Fresno couple was tragically killed during a car crash last week.

For Karen and Doug Ward's five children, their parent's life was built on family, love, kindness and service to others.

"I think we find great peace in that they loved so big, and they lived so big and they had so many experiences that I think they would have very few regrets as well," says daughter Kelly Hernandez.

"On a weekly basis, my mom would host a game night for all the cousins to come over and play, and grandma would have all these treats," says daughter Kari Christopherson. "Or she loved to do Sunday night milkshakes and waffles."

The couple was married 48 years ago and until the day they died, they still held hands and never liked to be apart. They spent their early years as business owners, but later on went back to school to become educators.

All but one of their children followed in their footsteps. choosing to shape the next generation through education.

When they weren't teaching they were exploring the world and enjoying adventures in far off lands.

"They did a lot of traveling the past 20 years and visited not every country, but just dozens and dozens of countries, mostly with their friends," says son Matt Ward. "They had a wonderful, wonderful life."

The Ward family has always been close, so much so three siblings and their parents all lived next door to each other. The Wards still went to every soccer game, play, and event they could, treasuring even the silly moments with their grandchildren.

The Wards wanted to give their family meaningful moments instead of things- down to these last few weeks.

"She let my six-year-old paint her nails and I don't know who was beaming more over the experience, and I've had several of her friends comment," says daugter Kristen Ward. "My mom was telling everybody."

Family members say Karen Ward died almost instantly, but the doctors helped Doug to live a little longer. It was long enough for his kids to tearfully tell him what he meant to them.

"It was a blessing for us to have a couple of days with my dad to be able to kind of grieve and mourn, but also to be able to say our goodbyes and just express our gratitude and love for him that both he and my mom have given to us," says son Jeremy Ward.

The Ward's will be remembered this weekend during a celebration of life at their church in Clovis.
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