Ward, Jean On Friday, January 17th, 2020 Jean Ward passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 89. Jean was born on May 18th, 1930 in Park Rapids Minnesota to Gladys (Hendrickson) and Dana C. Worrall. She grew up in Cloquet MN where she graduated from Cloquet High School in 1948. At the University of Minnesota, she was a staff writer at the Minnesota Daily and earned a BA from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC). After graduation, she worked at the Minneapolis Tribune as a staff writer for seven years. Following this, she earned her PhD in American Studies at the U of MN in 1967. In 1970 she started her faculty career at the U, culminating with her promotion to full professor in 1988. She was the first woman faculty member to be promoted to full professor in the SJMC. Her early research on the implications of journalistic language became a classic in feminist critique of the media. Her other research and publications investigated the use of emerging information technologies in the news media. She also researched the development of the new urban neighborhood press in the United States. With Kathleen A. Hansen she published three editions of the book, Search Strategies in Mass Communication. She was a treasured advisor to countless undergraduate students and a supportive mentor to many graduate students. As a professor, Jean supported her students in many ways. She led the effort to SJNC curriculum in the early 1980s to reflect the changing media landscape. During her career, she was honored with numerous awards for excellence in teaching and advancing women in journalism. These awards include: Outstanding Journalism Teacher Award from the Minnesota Press Club in 1979, the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 1988, Honor for Outstanding Contributions to Women in Communication from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1992, and Award for Excellence from the U of MN SJMC in 1999. In 1954 she married Jim Ward, whom she met as an undergraduate working at the Minnesota Daily. As Jean would tell everyone: she and Jim were at an after hours party at the Daily and met as the police were coming in the front door and they were both leaving out the back door. They raised two daughters, Ellen and Amy. Jean lived her life to the fullest while maintaining a professional career. She often advised: plan your leisure time first and everything else around it. While raising a family during her busy years as a professor, she regularly attended the Guthrie, Minnesota Orchestra, St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Linden Hills Dancing Club. The family went on annual spring skiing trips to the rockies and summer trips to cities where Jean attended conferences. She also made many trips to Suzuki Camp in Wisconsin with Ellen and Amy. As an adult, Jean took up playing the cello, and went on to co-found the Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra with the Linden Hills Community School and Linden Hills neighbors. After retiring, Jean focused on pursuing her many interests both locally and abroad. She expanded her travels destinations to Central and South America. These trips included a number of expedition cruises to remote locations including the Galapagos, Baja California and Alaska. In her later years, Jean led a quieter life in her high rise home overlooking Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield MN. She continued to read the entire Star Tribune paper every day, watch her favorite news shows, read history, biographies, and mysteries. She was a devoted Twins fan. She was predeceased by her husband James (Jim) A. Ward. She is survived by her daughters Ellen J. Ward (Craig C. Branham) and Amy J. Ward (David (Pepe) Campana), sister Joan Petroff, brother-in-law John Petroff and nephews Dana and Phillip. A celebration of life event will be held in the spring of 2020. Memorials in her memory may be made to the Jean Ward Fellowship #21201 at the University of Minnesota Foundation (online at makingagift.umn.edu/give/…) or Second Harvest Heartland.

Published on February 9, 2020