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WARD, Michael Robert, passed peacefully on January 24, 2020, surrounded by the love of his family. He was born in Hartford, Conn., to Nancy Lichiello Ward and Carl Gwynne Ward. He spent the first 10 years of his life in Simsbury, Conn., and then moved with his family to Raleigh, N.C. He attended Ravenscroft School, where he played on the baseball team and state championship winning football team. He earned an undergraduate degree in history from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and was a member of Kappa Sigma. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, La., in 1995. Mike started his law practice in civil litigation at McGuireWoods. He moved to Morris & Morris, where he honed his skills under the mentorship of Jimmy and Phil Morris. As a partner, he was part of the team that oversaw the merger of Morris & Morris with McCandlish Holton, where he became a director in 2016. He maintained an active trial practice throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of Louisiana. Mike met his wife, Virginia Bondurant Topham, while both were in school at Tulane. They moved to Richmond in 1996, married in 1999 and have three sons, Hutton Alexander, Tucker Bondurant and Mitchell Cannon. He could often be found around the Fan, throwing the football and baseball with his boys. He considered Pine Knolls Shores on the coast of North Carolina "God's country." Mike made sure that the connection he had there since his childhood continued with his boys. After his first bout with cancer, he began practicing yoga and found his yoga home at Humble Haven in Shockoe Slip. He was an avid music fan and loved to see live music of all kinds, from the Richmond Symphony to almost any show at the National. An IPA and a good band were his idea of happiness. He passed his love of history to his three sons as well as his enjoyment of both playing and watching sports. In addition to his sons and wife, Mike is survived by his siblings, Anne Carlene Ward of Raleigh, N.C., Molly Jane Ward of Basking Ridge, N.J., Douglas Gwynne Ward of San Francisco, Calif., Jennifer Melissa Ward (Jeff Tarplin) of Summit, N.J.; his mother-in-law, Adele Richter Topham; brother-in-law, William Cannon Topham (Carrie) of Charlotte, N.C.; and his nieces, Emma Ryals Ward, Alexia Marie Grillos, Katherine Addison Topham and Madeline Jane Topham. He is also survived by a loving extended family. The family would like to thank all the nurses and doctors who cared for Mike with skill and compassion. A memorial celebration of Mike's life will be held on Saturday, February 1, at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Massey Cancer Center at or mailed to VCU Massey Cancer Center, Box 843042, Richmond, Va. 23284.

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