Mary Ward

Mary A. Ward, 83, of Waukon died Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Hanover Cemetery in rural Waukon.

Friends may greet the family from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, February 28 at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon, where there will be a 3:30 p.m. scripture service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Lung Association (

Mary Ann Ward was born July 4, 1939 at home in Dorchester, one of 12 children to Emmett and Lillian (Doubek) Schwartzhoff. In 1957, she graduated from high school in Spring Grove, MN and then moved to Rochester, MN with her sister-in-law, Shirley Schwartzhoff, to work as a nursing assistant at the hospital.

In 1958, Mary married Duane Harold Anderson at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dorchester. The couple moved to Algona and had three children. Tragically, in 1962, Duane was killed in a car accident, which prompted Mary and the kids to move back home to Dorchester and then Waukon.

August 1, 1964, Mary married Donald Joseph Ward and they had three children. They farmed in the Hanover and Dorchester areas and Mary also worked as a CNA at the nursing home in Caledonia, MN for several years, as well as at Good Samaritan Society in Waukon; she also worked for the Waukon Head Start program.

Much of her time was spent volunteering around the area including at Veterans Memorial Hospital and the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. Faith, family and friends was a motto Mary lived by. Throughout her life she was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Churches in both Dorchester and Hanover and St. Patrick in Waukon, serving as eucharistic minister, sacristan, and on the meal committees. She was also involved with the CEW, CFM and Bible study.

Mary loved baking and was always making something for someone, from immediate to extended family to friends. The smell of fresh bread, pies and cinnamon rolls often filled the air in her home. Thursday lunch dates with her family was an important tradition held for many years. Mary also enjoyed reading and loved the Iowa Hawkeyes.

She is survived by her six children: Linda Anderson of Dubuque, Scott (Beverly) Anderson of Marion, Richard Duane (Melissa) Anderson of Port Charlotte, FL, Brian (Michelle) Ward of Denton, TX, John (Kelly) Ward of Springville and Christine (Troy) Mundt of North Liberty; her grandchildren: Dave Hoskins, Jenni Toberman, Holly Oberhoffer, Brian Berntgen, Brett and Sarah Anderson, Renee Engebritson, Kelsey Cleve, Allan Anderson, Ashley, Josh and Jeremy Ward, Delaney, Ellie and Joey Ward, and Tyler and Rachel Mundt; 24 great-grandchildren; five sisters: Carol (Bill) Hancock, Judy (Dennis) Byrnes, Mavis Wishcop, Karen (Dave) Gross and Kathy Schwartzhoff; and two brothers-in-law, Pat Delaney and Gary Ward.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Duane Anderson, in 1962; her second husband, Donald Ward, in 1997; four sisters: Theresa McCormick, Dorie Bulman, Aileen Delaney and Ramona Ward; two brothers, Jim and Donnie Schwartzhoff; two sisters-in-law, Joann and Shirley Schwartzhoff; and one brother-in-law, Jim McCormick.

Mary’s granddaughters will serve as honorary casketbearers and her grandsons as casketbearers.

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