Bertha Ward

Bertha Ward, 93, a lifelong resident of Laramie, WY, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on June 13, 2021. Bertha was born on August 31, 1927 to parents Clark and Nellie Allen. Bertha was the only girl and grew up with five brothers—Ethan, Art, Clark, Sam, and Don Allen—during the depression. Her parents were both teachers and emphasized education.

Bertha graduated from Laramie High School in 1945. Bertha and her beloved husband Frank Ward were married in December 1947. They had four children: James (Jock) in 1948, Kathy in 1949, Dawn in 1954, and Laura in 1955. The family lived in Kersey, CO for four years and then moved back to Laramie. Kathy passed away in 1954 on the same day Dawn was born. Bertha returned to school while raising her family and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1964. Bertha started teaching 5th grade at Washington School that fall. She continued teaching 4th and 5th grade students at Washington and Slade Elementary Schools. Bertha also taught 7th through 12th grade science classes in Rock River, Wyoming for years.

Her husband Frank passed away in 1976. She never remarried but kept busy raising Morgan horses and loved to compete in driving competitions with her favorite mare Calypso Christa Lynn. Bertha enjoyed being in the Toastmasters Club, line dancing, and Red Hat Society. She taught herself to ice skate when she was young, and was an accomplished figure skater, even teaching lessons. Bertha was a 4-H leader for the Snowy Range 4-H Club for 12 years and often donated awards for 4-H and FFA events at the fair. She loved watching wrestling and continued the Sam Allen Outstanding Laramie High School Wrestler Awards which her parents had sponsored.

Bertha volunteered with numerous organizations, including the Wyoming Territorial Prison (schoolhouse maintenance, flower beds maintenance, pumpkin walk, and other events), the Cowbelles (scholarship committee and Ag Expo committees), and the West Laramie Homemakers Club (various offices). Bertha was presented the Distinguished Community Service Award for Laramie in 2011.

Bertha was a loyal fan and tried to attend every sporting event or activity or function her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were participating in. Bertha was independent and drove herself to these functions until she was in her late 80s.

She was preceded in death by her husband Frank Ward, daughter Kathy Ward, and son-in-law Brent Roberts.

Bertha is survived by son Jock (Marilynn) of Buffalo, WY; daughters Dawn (Elmer) Bodin of Rock Springs, WY and Laura Roberts of Grand Junction, CO; three grandsons Toby and Cody (Kalli) Roberts and Zane Bodin; three granddaughters Joye (Terry) Allen, Jill (Eric) Borchers, and Kellie Bodin; great-grandchildren Kaitlyn Allen, Karley Borchers, Alyson Borchers, Parker Gardner, Addyson Bodin, Deklan Roberts, and McKenna Roberts.

Memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021 at the Albany County Fairgrounds. Please wear casual attire.

Donations may be sent to the Albany County Cow Belles.

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Condolences (14)

  • Donna Bird Crandall

    I have so many memories of running back and forth from our house to yours and you mom. She was always so good to all us kids as we trooped through her home and yard. She was a special lady and will be missed.

  • Eldona Gossman

    I will miss Bertha and the good times that we had line dancing. She was a joy to be around and my dear friend.My deepest sympathies and condolences to her family.

  • Bob Waddell II

    Ms. Ward was my 4th grade teacher at Washington my first year in Laramie, what an amazing teacher and lady, never have forgot the many gifts of knowledge she gave me and forced me to learn. I will never forget her catching several of us carving our names in the NE corner of the school, she made us sand them our, except mine which was quite deep. She told me something to the affect that my legacy should be more than a stick carving in sandstone. She was a gift from GOD, never let you know it, but always had our best interest in her massive heart - THANK YOU MS. WARD - FOREVER IN YOUR DEBT, be in peace as God's favorite teacher!

  • Jim & Ro Peak

    Jock, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family. It was my great fortune to have benefitted from Bertha’s research for her Master’s Degree. She developed a curriculum for outdoor education that was adopted by Albany County School District #1 for use by all fifth-grade students in Albany County The purpose of Pole Mountain Outdoor Environmental Field Trip is a better understanding and appreciation of our outdoor environment. It is easy to say that your mother touch the lives of several generation of students in Albany County.

  • Roland Peterson

    Jock, Dawn, and Laura, I'm so sorry for your loss. We go way back, don't we! Roland Peterson

  • Richard &Dorothy Jean Davis

    Jock, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family. Your mom was a busy and. productive lady all her life. What an attribute to her. Richard & I met her with you after a football game in Laramie years ago. Hope to visit you in the mountains this .

  • Bill & Judy Hines

    Jock, we were saddened to hear the news of your mothers passing, she sounds like she had a long and productive life. Judy joins me in expressing our condolences to you, the girls and the rest of your family. Bill Hines

  • Mark and Debi Gaines

    Sending prayers and condolences! Such a very special lady! Debi and Mark Gaines

  • Renee Slider

    Bertha will be missed. I loved talking to her when she volunteered at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. It was great to have her out here and when she dressed up in her elf costume for the Holiday show and dressed in her witches outfit for the Pumpkin Walk event. Bertha always had a smile on her face. Sending prayers and thoughts to the family.

  • KimViner

    Betha's friends at the Albany County Historical Society will miss her dearly.

  • Bud Seyler

    I am sorry to hear of this. I had Mrs. Ward as my fifth grade teacher and consider her to be one of my two favorite teachers! I learned a lot about teaching from her example and always tried to be remember how she engaged students when working with my own classes. I feel lucky to have been one of her students!

  • Debbie Pickett

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was always a very special person in my life. She will be truly missed. All of you are in my thoughts.

  • Pat Miles

    So sorry to hear of Bertha's passing, I hadn't seen her in awhile. She was my 5th grade teacher in 1967, I always felt I part of the Allen family. She will be missed, prayers and thoughts to her family.

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