Stevens Memorial Chapel

607 28Th Street, Ames, IA


Walter Junior Ward

February 17, 1934October 22, 2019

Walter J. Ward, 85, passed away Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at Northridge Village in Ames. Walt was born February 17, 1934, to Walter and Mary (Dyer) Ward. He graduated from Humboldt High School in Humboldt, IA in 1952. Following school, Walter enlisted in the United States Army in 1953 was honorably discharged three years later. After the military he went on to attend AIB in Des Moines where he attained his Associate Degree in 1957. Walter was united in marriage to Rita Rasmussen on June 21, 1958 in Atlantic, IA (D. 1986). Together they welcomed three children: Tara, Trevin and Tyann. Walt was remarried to Shirley Van Hemert on October 30, 1993 in Pella, IA (D. 2017).

In his free time, Walt enjoyed reading the daily newspaper, watching television, visiting with his family and friends and feeding the urban wildlife. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Pella until moving to Ames where he was a current member of Heartland Baptist Church.

Walter is survived by his siblings: Mary (Gene) Black of Norman, OK, June Oswald of Brownsdale, MN and Sylvie Larson of Thor, IA; three children; Tara (Scott) Scrogin of Omaha, NE, Trevin (Peggy) Ward of Ames, and Tyann Ward of Des Moines; Step children: Kim Crawford of Spokane, WA, Scott Sowles of Chino, CA, Monte Sowles of West Covina, CA and Joel Van Hemert of Pella; along with many grandchildren and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Mary Ward, Rita Ward (spouse) and Shirley Ward (spouse).

A celebration of life will be held January 11, 2020, at Stevens Memorial Chapel in Ames, IA, please check Walter’s page at www.stevensmemorialchapel.com for updates or to leave online condolences for the family. In lieu of flowers or a memorial, the family would ask you to do as Walt would have; reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, start up a conversation with a stranger, or make a new friend. That is what Walt would be doing if he was here.


11 January

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm

Stevens Memorial Chapel

607 28th St
Ames, Iowa 50010


Walter Junior Ward

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barb Licklider

October 27, 2019

I only met Walt a few months ago at Northridge where I volunteer with the group for conversation sessions. We had an instant, mutual admiration for each other. What a bright, insightful, caring, and compassionate man. I will miss his smiles, his wit and his hugs.

I am so sorry for your loss. I will always be sad that I could not have known him longer. Treasure your many wonderful memories of this wonderful man.

Scott Sowles

October 24, 2019

Walt was my Mom (Shirley) Husband. I live in California and I didn’t have much contact with them. What I do know is that he loved my mother and I was happy that they had a partner to grow old together. I can echo what everyone is saying that Walt knew no strangers he seemed to know everyone in Pella. Walt thank you for being the voice of reason sometimes when Mom and I would have our differences. Thanks for treating me like a son. May you Rest In Peace. It’s a peace well deserved.
Love Scott and Kay Sowles
Chino California.

Julie Price

October 24, 2019

So many memories come flooding into my heart as I remember "Uncle Junior." I am the oldest of Walter and Mary (Dyer) Ward's grandchildren. Walt has always been part of my life and taught me many life lessons (like how to baste fried eggs with bacon grease). However, the memory I will always cherish is the afternoon that my parents and I spent with him last May. His warm smile and sense of humor will stay with me forever. I give thanks for that of him that lives on in me. (This picture is from 2 years ago when he and I met for lunch in Ames.)

Julie Brown

October 24, 2019

I remember all of those times we spent with Tara, Tyann and Trevin with Aunt Rita and Uncle Walt. Those were the best. Uncle Walt had the best sense of humor! He was such a caring guy and always checked in after we lost dad 12 years ago to make sure we were all okay.

Shirley Seiler

October 24, 2019

Walt, my uncle, my mom's brother sure had an adventurous life. Did many things, never met a stranger. My mom loved him so. I enjoyed him and my Aunt Rita visiting my family when I was growing up. He was funny, kind, a gentle soul. I am grateful for the joy Shirley brought into his life later. God bless. My thoughts and prayers to his kids, his siblings and all.

Cindy and Norm Van Den Baard

October 24, 2019

He was our favorite brother-in-law. Always ready for interesting conversations and sharing his knowledge. Loved talking with him. He never knew a stranger. Always ready to serve others. He’ll be missed. Now he’s with his wife, Shirley whom we also miss greatly. May is be rejoicing in Heaven before Jesus!