Kenneth Ward

Kenneth Ward

Kenneth Ward
February 29, 1932 – January 8, 2022
New Sharon, Iowa | Age 89
Served With Honor ~ United States Military Veteran

Milton Kenneth Ward (Ken) passed away peacefully on January 8, 2022, at the age of 89. Ken was born the son of Marvin Reed Ward and Violet Wignall Ward on February 29, 1932 in Knoxville, Iowa.

Ken was raised in and near Tracy, Iowa, and graduated with the Tracy High School class of 1951.

He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he honorably served from 1951-1955 in the Korean War.

Following his naval service, Ken attended Capital City Commercial College and A.I.B. in Des Moines.

Ken was united in marriage to Eileen Claire Fox on October 16, 1955, at the First Christian Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa. To that union, four daughters were born: Penny, Linda, Sandra, and Jolene. Ken and Eileen lived briefly in Oskaloosa, Des Moines, and Keokuk, then moved to New Sharon in 1962, where they raised their family and lived until 2019, when health concerns necessitated a move to Homestead Assisted Living in Oskaloosa.

Ken was a loyal, hard worker and had a servant’s heart. Those traits shone throughout his entire career in retail. Over the years, Ken worked for the Sherwin & Williams Paint Store and Howar’s Shoe Store in Oskaloosa, and Strand’s Shoe Store in Grinnell. In 1984, he became the manager for the Mahaska County Outreach Store, and he served there for 25 years until he retired in 2012 at the age of 80.

Ken lived the concept of “pay it forward” long before it became a catchphrase. He was known for his generosity and always offering a helping hand to people – friends and strangers alike – when he saw a need. In his younger years, he coached Little League teams in New Sharon. After retirement, he served on the New Sharon City Council. He also volunteered regularly as a guide at Mahaska Hospital and at Homestead of Oskaloosa. He was a faithful member of the Fellowship Bible Church in Oskaloosa.

Ken had a great sense of humor and especially loved joking about being a leap-year baby. It was a notable event when each of his children (and then grandchildren) became “older” than him. He was justifiably proud of being a veteran and was thrilled to participate in the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight in October 2014 to visit the memorials in Washington, D.C.

In his spare time, Ken enjoyed watching sports, especially the Iowa Hawkeyes. Above all, Ken loved his family. His favorite pastime was family gatherings, whether that was over Sunday dinner, at reunions with the Ward and Wignall families, or the trip he and Eileen planned with their children and grandchildren over the Fourth of July each year.

Ken is survived and lovingly remembered by Eileen, his wife of 66 years; their children: Penny (& Tom Maule) Ward of What Cheer, Linda Barnes of Cedar Rapids, Sandy (& Bobby) Collins of Baldwin City, KS, and Jolene (& Sam) LeeMasters of Lamar, MO; eleven grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; his brother, Merrill (& Shirley) Ward of Knoxville; his sister, Connie (& Bill) Thomas, of Knoxville, Iowa; and his sister-in-law, Shirley Ward of Lincoln, NE.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Reed and Violet; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Keith (& Delores) Ward, and Paul (& Coleen) Ward; his brother, Roger Ward; and his sister and brother-in-law, Jean (& Pete) DenBurger.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Kenneth Ward please visit the Bates Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

Posted by on Jan 9 2022. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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