Wilma Alice (Farr) Ward was born Dec. 12, 1948, at Cambridge, to Albert and Doris (Houser) Farr. She passed away April 16, 2003, after a short bout with cancer. During her childhood years she lived north of Cambridge on her parents' farm. She attended Prairie Bell School District No. 54. Upon graduation of the eighth grade, she attended Cambridge High School, graduating in 1966. She entered college at Kearney State College where she earned her teaching degree in high school English and French. She student taught at McCook High School. She first taught English and library in Bradshaw and Kearney while she was waiting for Jerry to finish college. Wilma and Jerry Ward married on June 12, 1970, where upon they moved to Omaha. She taught at various Omaha Public Schools. Their first son, Brett was born on Oct. 10, 1973, at Omaha. Three years later they would be blessed with a daughter, Kristy, born Sept. 7, 1976. Michael, their second son, was born July 1, 1981.
They moved from Omaha to Dickson, where she continued teaching at Dickson and Wallace. Once again moving and teaching in North Platte when Jerry went to work for the railroad. They finally moved to Hermiston, Ore., in 1983. All the while, Wilma would continue her love of teaching children. In her last years, Wilma, whose hobby was photography, taught photography, newspaper and yearbook classes instead of English, often laughing about how pictures were easier to grade than an English term paper.
Wilma loved researching family history and ancestry. Her findings on her father's ancestry are published in a book. Wilma loved photography and used digital cameras for most of her photos in later years. She and Jerry loved to travel, seeing parts of Europe twice. Her home and yard were a reflection of Wilma's hobbies of gardening, photography and family history and her love of family and hearth.
Wilma, as a child, enjoyed being a part of the boys, as she learned to enjoy and play all the games that her brothers did. She enjoyed visiting her grandma Francis and uncle, Fred who lived just across the road. Wilma's greatest asset was her ability to communicate with people. People enjoyed Wilma and she enjoyed people.
Wilma's greatest love was her family. She adored her husband, Jerry, their three children and four grandchildren. Her strength and faith carried her family through many trials. Wilma stayed in close touch to her parents and brothers even after she moved to Oregon. Yearly visits to Nebraska were a highlight in her parent's lives.
Wilma joined the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) while she was living and teaching in Omaha. Her strong faith of God and the life after death enabled her to have a peaceful attitude about her cancer and her death. While talking with Wilma, shortly after learning she might not live more than a few months she said she had the easy part, quote, "All I have to do is die, you have to go on without me." When asked if she didn't ask the whys?, she said, "well maybe I have endured enough trials and I am being allowed to go home." Wilma showed an amazing testimony of a faith in God and the life hereafter.
Wilma was preceded in death by her grandparents, Jess and Freda Houser and Fred and Francis Farr; brother-in-law, Frank Ward; a niece, Amanda Lea Farr; and her uncles, Fred Farr and Bob Houser.
Wilma is survived by her husband, Jerry Lee Ward of Hermiston; their three children, Brett Ward and his wife, Genni of Eugene, Ore., daughter, Kristy Ward and son, Michael Ward of Hermiston; four grandchildren; parents, Albert and Doris Farr of Cambridge; mother-in-law, Arlene (Suzie) Ward; sister-in-law, Robin Lashua; brothers, Stan Farr and wife, Ann of Farnam and Robert Farr and wife, LaVella of Cambridge; four nieces; seven nephews; great-nieces and nephews; and a host of family and friends.
Funeral services will be Monday, 11 a.m., in Hermiston.