Roger L. Ward, age 70, of Glenwood, MN died Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, September 22nd at Minnewaska Lutheran Church in Starbuck. Visitation will be Wednesday, September 21st from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. at Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood and will continue on Thursday at the church in Starbuck, one hour prior to the service. Private family inurnment will be at a later date. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Roger Lynn Ward was born on August 30, 1952 in Glenwood, MN. He was the youngest of four children born to parents Joseph Aaron and Gladys Evelyn (Aaberg) Ward. Roger grew up in Glenwood and was baptized and confirmed at Glenwood Lutheran Church. He attended Glenwood public schools, graduating from Glenwood High School with the Class of 1971. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for two years. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned home to Glenwood where he worked at Valley Disposal and other various jobs. On June 24, 1978, he was united in marriage to Mary Jane Olson, of Starbuck, at Minnewaska Lutheran Church in Starbuck.
Roger and Mary made their home in Glenwood on Minnesota Avenue, just down the road from the house where Roger grew up. It was there that they raised their two children, Joe and Ruth. Roger worked as a machinist at various local manufacturing companies, including Clyde’s and Massmann, before accepting a position at Brenton Engineering in Carlos, where he worked until his retirement. After his retirement, in 2021, he got the promotion he was looking forward to most, that of being a Grandpa. Roger enjoyed spending time with his grandson, James, any chance he got.
Roger was an active member of Minnewaska Lutheran Church, where he often played guitar and sang, including some of his own original music. An accident he had in 2004 involving a 15 foot hole, many broken ribs and two punctured lungs served as a spiritual awakening for Roger. It became his testimony and a story he often shared when speaking about his faith and through his music.
In addition to his music, Roger also enjoyed hunting, fishing and motorcycling. For many years he and Mary looked forward to their annual trip to South Dakota for the Sturgis Bike Rally. An avid hunter and animal lover, Roger always had a Labrador retriever in the house to accompany him in the field and provide the companionship that only a dog can. His most recent lab, Molly, loved to join him in his recliner and was wonderful company for Roger after he was diagnosed with a progressive lung disease in 2019.
Roger died on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at Glacial Ridge Hospital. He will be remembered as a loving family man, an avid outdoorsman, a talented musician, and most importantly as a man of faith.
Roger is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary; their children, Joe (Ashley) Ward and Ruth Ward; and grandson, James Ward, all of Glenwood; his brother, Aaron (JoAnn) Ward of Riverside, CA; his sister, Rosella “Tootie” (Ron) Anderson of Starbuck; along with many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Gladys; his sister and her husband, Ardis and Richard Henry, and Ardis’ son, Thomas Kahl; his wife’s parents, Albin and Delores Olson; his wife’s sister and brothers, Shirley “Snookie” Robideaux, David Olson and Alan “Beaner” Olson.