Family History


Orville married Nancy Lerona Durfee December 18, 1912, in Boise, Idaho.  They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple June 5, 1913. See Orville’s family group record HERE.

    Orville served an LDS mission in the Southern States Mission from approximately 1918-1920.  His daughter, Hazel, recorded the following regarding his mission:

    "Mother said the morning he was to leave, he went over to the ranch, then up to Aunt Liza Wake's to tell her goodbye.  When he got back he was late.  She said he came in on the porch, pulled off his clothes and left them lying on the porch.  After he left she went out there and rolled them all together and stuffed them in a sack, tied the sack tightly, and hung it on the wall.  She didn't open it until he came home. 

    Mother said that Uncle Gene Durfee took him to Kelton where he caught the train to Salt Lake City.  I think the mission was called the Southern States Mission with head quarters at Little Rock, Arklansas. 

     I remember when he left.  Mother spent most of the day in tears.  She must have felt pretty lonely, left alone with three small children to care for.  That fall I was six years old in November.  Children were allowed to start school then but Mother kept me home until the next September.”  (Hazel was born November 7, l913.  That would have made it 1919 when he left). Read Hazel’s “Memories of my Childhood” HERE.

Orville Welton Ward

5 October 1887 to 23 January 1977


George Alfred Ward (1862-1898)

Mary Ellen Brewerton (1862-1923)


William Alfred Ward (1882-1929)

Melvin Moroni Ward (1884-1956)

Henry Edward Ward (1886-1886)

Asael Edwin Ward (1890-1976)

Irl Bryan Ward (1896-1961)

Spouse: 12 Dec. 1912

Nancy Lerona Durfee (1890-1972)


Hazel Dawn Ward (1913-1988)

Edris Rae Ward (1916-2002)

Edith Fae Ward (1916-2010)

Orville Welton Ward, Jr. (1922-1989)

Mary Ellen Ward (1923-2006)

Thern Henry Ward (1925-2007)

Clark William Ward (1933-1975)

Above:  Wedding photo

Below: Family home on the ranch in Almo, Idaho

This family photo circa 1950 shows Mary Ellen, Orville Jr., Gramp, Nana, Clark, Edris, Edith, Thern & Hazel

Copyright (©) Ward B. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.

Orville’s father, George Alfred Ward

This family photo was taken circa 1910.  Front row: Melvin Moroni, Mary Ellen, William Alfred; Back row: Orville Welton, Asael Edwin, Irl Bryan

You can read Orville’s mission journal HERE.  Gramp made his living as a rancher in Almo. I loved to go to Gramp and Nana’s house for visits.  I was curious about ranch life.  It was fun to be around the horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.  I remember being fascinated watching them milk the cows.  I loved the wide open spaces at the ranch.  They had a rock garden that I thought was kind of odd.  My mom was sentimental enough about the rocks that she brought many of them down to our house in Burley and started a rock garden of her own.

Sadly, most of my memories of Gramp are after he suffered a stroke in about 1967 that left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak.  He lived for the next 10 years in the long term care unit at the Burley hospital.  Nana would alternate between staying with us so she could visit Gramp and living in Almo to look after her home.  Nana’s health declined after Gramp’s stroke and she died about five years later.  Mom would go visit Gramp in the hospital at least once and often twice each day taking a fresh change of pajamas.  She would often take me along on these visits.  We would bring Gramp to our house on special occasions like Thanksgiving.  Gramp died January 23, 1977 my senior year of high school.  He was buried next to Nana in the Almo cemetary.  Click HERE to see more photos of the family courtesy of Deborah Dawn Ward Jones.

Gramp and Nana celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 1962 at the home of Ralph & Mary Ellen Rasmussen.  Gramp and Nana are seated.  Standing l-r: Edris & Orville Sears, Joe and Edith Carlson, Ralph & Mary Ellen Rasmussen, Orville and Hazel Beecher, Clark and Vaudis Ward, Orville, Jr. and Norma Ward, Thern and Donna Ward.