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Robert James Ward

March 20, 1961 — April 26, 2023

Franklin, Idaho

Robert James Ward


We are sad to announce the passing of Robert James Ward of Franklin, Idaho.  He left this world unexpectedly at age 62 on April 26, 2023.  He was born March 20, 1961.  Jimmy came into this world delighting his family with a baby boy.  He was adored by everybody who had the blessing of seeing him grow up.

Jimmy spent his childhood riding bikes with friends to Glendale, or to fish our local rivers.  He truly loved the water.  Anytime his parents would ask, he would happily grab his fishing poles and go catch supper.  Always one with a story and a laugh, Jimmy would fondly tell his family tales of all the neighborhood kids playing night games, causing shenanigans and always keeping the adults on their toes knowing at any minute Jimmy may open your door and toss a smoke bomb into the living room.

One fall, his mom took him to his first NFL game in San Diego which lit a spark in young Jimmy and he became a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan.  At nine years old, a local ski bus would pick up children from Preston and take them up to Beaver Mountain and from then you could Jimmy on the slopes every winter.  He spent much of that time with his lifelong friends, Jeff Call, Barry Hawkes and Troy Bowling- who were the brothers he never had, and he would tell you as much. But, they were just a few among many friends that Jimmy loved dearly. 

He learned to both golf and hunt from his parents, he was so proud of where he came from and of what Big Jim and Alice taught him.  Golfing was a legacy he was thrilled to pass onto his only son, Christopher James Ward (Bubba). Through a previous relationship, Jimmy was granted the gift of parenthood and he was a proud father to Ashley and Christopher. 

In 1996, Jimmy met his other half, the love of his life, Kymberly Rico Vandygriff.  Together, they had a blended family of children and grandchildren who adored their Grampy.  By trade, Jimmy was a ready-mix truck driver at Jack B. Parson’s and recently retired from Geneva Rock, where he was a proud member of Teamsters Local #222.  During his career, Jimmy met lifelong friends who gave him the nickname “Vegas” which he loved.

He is survived by his wife, Kymberly; his son, Chris; his “bonus-children” Marky (Amanda); Mikey (Jessie); Sharon (Brandon); and Landon; by his grandchildren; by his sisters, Barbara (Jed); Susan (Harold); and Beverly; by his nieces and nephews; and by many friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Alice & Jim Ward; by his daughter, Ashley Marie Ward; by his brother-in-law, Harold Smith; by many beloved friends; and by his good boy, Buddha. 

We will remember Jimmy for his booming voice, room-filling laughter, and the ability to make you smile no matter the mood of the room.  Every time we hear thunder, we will think of Jimmy’s booming voice.  Jimmy would want you all to remember him fondly, as he did so many of you.  He told his family stories that will be passed on for generations, and we thank so many of you for having a hand in his life.  He was a bright light for so many, truly larger than life, and he will continue to live on in those who love him.  The family would like to thank all those who have extended condolences. 

There will be a private, family service, and an open celebration of life will be held at a later date in the mountains Jimmy has loved since childhood.  Jimbo/Dad, we already feel the magnitude of this enormous loss.  You are greatly missed.  Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert James Ward, please visit our flower store.


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