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Marilyn J. Ward

Updated: Feb 2

Marilyn Jeanne Ward passed away peacefully in her sleep on the evening of January 16th, 2022 at Woodlands Creek in Clive. She was born July 6th, 1935 in Lacona, Iowa to Dean and Maxcine Harrison. She moved to Des Moines and attended East High School. She was a Majorette for the EHS marching band and made the cover of LIFE magazine in her Majorette uniform. After graduating she experienced a variety of occupations, which included Bankers Trust, Ford Motor Company, United Airlines as a ticket agent and she worked at 940 KIOA during the Dic Youngs years as a radio promoter. She was also very proud of the day she received her Dorothy Carnegie Certificate for Personal Development for Woman in 1969. Marilyn was a loving and dedicated mother to her two children, Kristen Ward-Rappe (Jason) of Clive and William “Bill” Ward the II (Christina) of West Des Moines, and a loving Grandmother to her only Grandchild Lauran Ward of Adel and her Great Granddaughter Aaura Rose Rothmeyer. She is also survived by her brother, Richard Harrison of Aberdeen, Maryland.


Marilyn was married to Francis Weinman Jr in 1955, although her marriage didn’t last, it remained a very amicable friendship. In 1967 she married David Ward. She loved to travel and their adventures together took them all across the world. She took many trips to Vegas with Dave. She wasn’t big on gambling but loved the action and glamour. She was always Dave’s biggest cheerleader at the table. Although Marilyn wasn’t a strong swimmer, she always found herself around water. Whether it was her backyard pool, winters in Siesta Key or summers in Okoboji. She loved being on the water, although always minding her beautiful skin, she kept mostly in the shade with her hat and large sunglasses. Her biggest joy was being around her friends and family. She lived for her children and made sure they had nothing short of the best. Always there if you needed her for a pep talk or a shoulder to cry on, but also a firm hand when needed. Her children knew manners and she never wavered on expecting good behavior from them. Always the gracious host, she would throw beautiful parties for friends and always insisted that family gatherings be held in her home. Marilyn never met a person she didn’t like and everyone she met wanted to be her friend. She could walk into a room and all eyes were on her. She was captivating, charming and witty, yet humble, all at the same time. It was her nature, a real talent and she did all this with grace and elegance. She was truly a “one of a kind” woman. She will be missed by her friends and especially her family, who lost a true matriarch. May she rest in peace.

Marilyn is preceded in death by parents and her brothers John and Robert Harrison.


Visitation will be Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 from 5-7pm at Brooks Funeral Care at 7975 University Ave, Clive. A private family memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers we ask that a donation in her honor be sent to the Nation Multiple Sclerosis Society online at https:/www.nationalmssociety.org