Tony Ward is a funny guy. In his line of work, humor is important. Ward is the owner of Lasting Touch Memorial in Yelm. “I try to tell a funny story to get a laugh or smile – to break the mood,” says Ward.
That doesn’t mean he’s insensitive. Ward takes his work seriously. He understands how important picking the right memorial can be to a family who has just lost a loved one. “You have to care for people and you have to be a good listener,” says Ward.
Patience is a must. “I have to find out what that person meant to them,” says Ward. Sometimes it takes a while. Ward once worked with a client who needed seven months and more than 30 changes before she felt satisfied. “I’ll go back until the person is happy,” says Ward.
Tony opened Lasting Touch 12 years ago but he’s been involved with the death care industry for almost three decades. He started as a truck driver for a company that installed headstones, among other things. Ward worked his way up before leaving to start his own business.
A delivery truck pulls up. Ward takes me out back. He talks to the driver for a few minutes then takes me on a tour of the lot. He shows me a beautiful, deep red memorial. It’s granite and looks pristine. He bought the piece in China and also purchases domestically and internationally. There is some kind of defect but it’s not visible. Ward thinks it was cut too short. As we walk, Ward rattles off information about the different colors of granite and where they originated. He’s a flesh and blood Wikipedia only without the inaccuracy. I can’t help but think that it must be nice to be in such capable hands.
For more information about Lasting Touch visit the website or call 360-458-9070.