"If you just knew him, you had a great friend. But if you really knew him, you were a blessed person."
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its best. Ward Scott Webb, perhaps best known for his work with the Special Olympics, but also general work ethic, selflessness, and kindness passed away unexpectedly at age 53.
Col. Webb worked closely with the media, as well. He will also be remembered for his presence at press events and for contributing arrest reports. His demeanor was disarming and friendly.
"Ward was not only a co-worker and a boss, but he was a friend," APSO Public Information Officer Allison Breanna Hudson said. Hudson also serves as President of the Arc of East Ascension. She shared that interest and care with Col. Webb both at the Sheriff's Office and specifically in serving people with disabilities. "He was somebody that you could go to no matter when it was. He was going to be there for you."
Webb was originally born in Baton Rouge, but he became a graduate of East Ascension High School. He also earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern. Chief Deputy of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Bobby Webre has known Webb since high school.
"He was a hard-working guy," Webre said. "A very smart guy, administratively and of course on our criminal side. He was of course our chief of criminal operations . . . If you just knew him, you had a great friend. But if you really knew him, you were a blessed person."
"He was going to give his most unbiased opinion," Hudson said. "Or if you just wanted to talk to him just to have a listening ear, he was always that person. He was somebody that I looked up to because of the way he was as a person."
Webb was employed by APSO since he began with them on July 1, 1988. Furthermore, he was a graduate of the 247th Session of the FBI National Academy. Before coming to the sheriff's office he was a sergeant at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center.
Visitation was an enormous turnout. It looked like every last police motorcycle and fire truck were parked at the First Baptist Church on S. Burnside. Ward was also known as a spiritual man. Sheriff Wiley promoted Webb from Lt. Col. to Col. on his last day.
"If you didn’t know Ward, you missed a great opportunity to get to know a man who loved the Lord and in a Christ like manner and served others for decades," Wiley Lamented. "[He] is the new professional who understands that the future of serving others while wearing a badge means more than authority and peacekeeping, it means service to others in much broader ways."
"He was a guy that looked forward to Christmas," Webre said. "He really loved Christmas. He would start playing Christmas songs months before Christmas. He he bought you a gift, he actually went out looking for it, shopping for it. He put a lot of thought and effort into buying you a gift. And it had to be the right one for him.
"I was always amazed by how much he got into the Christmas spirit. Because he loved Christ. And I don't think a lot of people understood his deep, personal relationship with God, or how religious he was because he never flaunted that. But if you knew him deeply like I did, you kinda knew that."
Webb's particular health matters were complicated. He suffered from a low immune system. He is survived by a wife, Nita Boudreaux Webb, two daughters, siblings, and a large extended family.
"It was no secret that he battled with health issues, but you would never know it unless you really knew him," Hudson said. "Even then, he would worry about you. So he never really focused on himself. He gave so much of himself. He was somebody that I saw everyday with a smile on his face, no matter how badly he was hurting."
The funeral was held Saturday, March 31. Fittingly, the family asked that donations were to be be made to the Special Olympics rather than flowers. Webb's contributions to the Special Olympics carried all the way to the international level. He worked with the International Conferences for Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, earning a Richard LaMunyon Hall of Fame entry in 2017.
"He brought the law enforcement fundraising efforts to Special Olympics to a whole different level," Webre said. "His service to the community went way beyond the badge."
"His love for Special Olympics is what made me very passionate about it," Hudson said. "We shared that same passion because of my passion for individuals with disabilities. We worked a lot together with that. Although we all are hurting because we lost a good man, and we lost a good person within the Sheriff's Office, myself and I hope others will continue to honor his legacy through Special Olympics, which is what he would have wanted."