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Memories & Candles

1 of 2 | Posted by: GEORGE SPENCER BEACH JR. - VA

“I remember a big, brown eyed 4 year old, a handsome marine, a happy and proud father and our wonderful conversations about everything and anything. I...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Julie Ward-Wylie

Memorial services for James Dale "JD" Ward, Jr., age 55, of Lenox, who died Tuesday, December 9, 2008, at the Mercy Hospital in Des Moines after a brief illness, will be held Saturday, December 20, 2008, at United Presbyterian Church in Lenox at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be Friday from 3 to 7 with the family greeting friends from 5 to 7 at the Ritchie Funeral Home. Interment of ashes with military rites accorded by the Parkinson American Legion Post No. 250 will be held in the East Fairview Cemetery in Lenox. Memorials can be given in Jim's name. Memories can be shared with the family at under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox.

James Dale "JD" Ward, Jr. of Lenox, IA, was born August 7, 1953, in Fremont NE, to James Dale and Ruth Joan (Beach) Ward. Following the divorce of his parents, Jim moved to CA with his mother. As a teenager, Jim was a champion swimmer in the Phoenix, AZ, area, acquiring many trophies to attest to his talent. Jim joined the United States Marine Corps at age 18 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA, and in Hawaii during his three years of service. Following his discharge from the military, he moved to Everett, Washington, where he met and married Marlene Fischer. From this union one son, James Dale Ward, III., was born. Jim was a carpenter and house-builder until a back injury caused him to pursue other work. After Jim and Marlene divorced, Jim moved to Oregon to work in the produce business. In the early 90s, Jim moved to California to work with his mother Ruth in her produce brokerage business and remained near her throughout their business career.

Jim loved to travel and frequently talked about adventurous trips to Alaska and Canada, a business trip to China, and a trip to the Masters Golf Tournament in Scotland with his Uncle Spence. He made frequent trips to Las Vegas and planned to return to Alaska for a vacation next year. Jim was proud of his 1965 blue Mustang, the memories of his mother's black poodle, Bo Didley, his many family heirlooms, and his family. Jim loved to golf, was a great cook, enjoyed attending local sporting events, and was a wonderful friend.

Jim was a devoted son, caring for his mother Ruth during the illness prior to her death in 2006. Following the death of his mother, Jim decided to move to Lenox and make it his home so that he could be near his family - a word that had great meaning for Jim. He built a house with a porch, porch swing, and enough room to house many family members during Beach family reunions. He especially enjoyed the Beach family reunions and his local relatives have truly enjoyed becoming closer to their cousin and great-nephew. Jim was very proud of his new talent as a "farmer" with his friend Terry Booth. Jim was a kind, respectful, generous man with a good sense of humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his maternal grandparents Emery Haldene and Jeannette Brooks Beach; and paternal grandparents Con and Luther Ward.

Survivors are his son James Dale Ward, III. of Everett, WA; half-brother, Trey Ward (wife Linda) and nephew Connor Ward of Albuquerque, New Mexico; step-mother, Julie Wylie; uncles Haldene Lee Beach, Huntsville, AL, and George Spencer Beach, Centerville, VA; cousins Clifford, George, Jr., Phillip, and Michael Beach, Alison Beach Quintana, Kathy, Leslie, Erica, and George IV. Jim is also survived by his great-uncle Walter "Buzz" Beach (wife Mary) of Dallas, TX, and great-aunt Josephine Beach Walter of Lenox, IA, good friend, Sue Farrens, and many cousins and friends.