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Ted Harms

ted harms
Ted A. Harms, 68, died at his home in rural New Hampton surrounded by his family on January 6, 2018. He went to be with his Lord and Savior following an illness. A Celebration of Life service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton with Rev. Cory Orr of Prairie Lakes Church presiding. Friends may greet the family 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Friday at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Ted was born on September 24, 1949 in rural Butler County. He was the only son of Albert and Doris (Mortvedt) Harms. He attended school in Allison, IA from Kindergarten through High School graduation in 1967. He attended IA State Univ. until he was drafted into the Army, going first to Fort Polk, LA where he was trained in infantry. After boot camp, he was sent to Viet Nam. He returned home after 14 months in Viet Nam and returned to IA State Univ. After a short while at ISU, he came back to his family farm, to farm the land he loved with his dad. He continued a large farming operation until the farm crisis in the late 1980’s. Although he never again farmed for a career, farming was never very far from Ted. He had several restored tractors that he plowed with for fun, he went on organized tractor rides each year and he kept very current with the farming industry. His ties to the soil ran very deep. In 1986 Ted enrolled at Wartburg College in Waverly and graduated in 1988 with a BA Degree in Social Work. Ted met his wife, Jennifer Judson-Harms, while they were both students at Wartburg. They were married at the Wartburg Chapel on March 5, 1988. With this marriage, Ted became father to 5 children; Bill Smutz, Jr., Bonnie Wolf, Jamie Nelson, Ashley Danger and Gabriel Smutz. After graduation from Wartburg, Ted worked for JTPA, administering programs for dislocated farm families. In 1992, the family moved to Manhattan, KS where Ted continued similar work for Kansas State Dept. of Agriculture. Ted and his family returned to Iowa in 1996 where he worked for the State of Iowa until his retirement in 2015. Ted will long be remembered for his love of life, his smiling face and optimistic attitude. He was a friend to all and enemy to none. He loved farming and tractors; especially John Deere’s, steam engines and railroads, camping with family and friends, gardening, his collection of Shelby Mustangs, and his beloved dogs, Guthrie and Stella who were often in the backseat of his Ford truck. He will be remembered for each year growing and giving away “the best sweet corn in the country”, always refusing payment of any kind. Ted’s idea of a “perfect day” was to have his home filled with his kids and grandkids, driving the Mule with kids in the back, catching bluegill and largemouth bass in the pond in the backyard and watching his family play and have fun. Most of all, he will be remembered for his love of his wife, his children, grandchildren, many, many friends and people in general. He loved his Prairie Lakes Church Family and especially Pastor Cory Orr. Ted is survived by his wife, Jennifer Judson-Harms, of New Hampton; sons Bill Smutz Jr. of Vinton, and Gabriel (Kristin) Smutz of Cedar Falls; daughters Bonnie Wolf of New Hampton, Jamie (Chad) Nelson of Northwood, Ashley (Scott) Danger of Iowa Falls; daughter-in-law Marty (Smutz) Kramer of Mt. Auburn; 16 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Doris Harms, and his mother and father-in-law, Jim and Bonnie Judson from Clarion.

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Memories Timeline


  1. To Jennifer and her family, our thoughts and prayers for you all. Ted was such a generous and loving man who truly loved his wife and his family. I remember him picking corn for us, driving his gator around to help us get what we wanted, being so kind to our grandchildren when they came to visit and to help pick up rock. We all felt so welcomed into your home, the kids loved fishing in your pond and Fulton loved sitting with Ted and comparing old memories of the “good ole days”. Nothing can be said right now to fill the hole his passing has made, we know he will be missed. Hopefully family, friends and God’s Grace will give you some comfort during this hard time. Love Gloria, Fulton, Dylan, Corbin and Sydney

  2. Jennifer and family, prayers to you during this difficult time. You know I always enjoyed visiting with Ted when I came out to your home to work on FTP stuff. He was a kind, gentle man who loved you and the kids and grands. Oh and tractors, cars, the dogs, and fishing. Let me know if you need something. Thinking of you.

  3. Ted loved Jennifer and life to the fullest. He showed compassion and caring in his thoughts about family. I feel privileged to have gotten to know Ted in a personal way. He will be missed.

  4. It was a pleasure to have joined Ted on many trips to workforce centers around Iowa during the last few years working for the state of Iowa for both of us. He had a passion for the work and was a good friend.

  5. So sorry for loss Jennifer. May you find comfort in the memories you have shared with Ted over the years. Keep them close to your heart. He will be missed by all who had the gift of knowing him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Jim and Dixie

  6. Jennifer and family, I am so saddened by your loss. I got to know Ted as a statewide leader when we had plant closings or layoffs in the Davenport region. We saw a genuine, kind, honest, and hard working guy who offered hope and means to get those workers retrained and reemployed. I know in our area alone Ted worked with our local team to assist more than 20,000 people. He has left a huge mark on thousands of lives because he didn’t just sit at a desk. He campaigned to get retraining funds, career planning, job search and other classes for them. He walked through the plants with us and sat in lunch rooms talking, encouraging workers soon to lose their jobs. He did this all over the state. I can’t imagine how many people he assisted at one of the most difficult times of their lives.. There is a very special place in heaven for him. And I know he loved and admired you beyond measure. Bill and I are both proud to call you and Ted our friends. I wish you and your families peace and love. Cathy and Bill Wiebel

  7. So sorry to hear of Ted’s passing. He was quite a guy! We worked together way back when , as a displaced farmer himself, he ran the farm program Job Training. The stories from that job were heart warming, full of his kind and caring ways with farmers. Some were a little off the wall, like the man who he visited that had a small dog that sat on his shoulder. Ted said when he entered the house it looked clean enough but had a smell he found suspect. As he sat at the table with the man the little dog jumped off his shoulder and went to the corner to do his business. I remember Ted saying without missing a lick the man got up turned on the huge shop vac that was sitting there and cleaned up after the dog. Ted then understood the foul smell. I always remember that story and how we laughed so hard we had tears,. he was a great story teller. He made a difference in the lives of many . May he find true peace and joy on his next journey. I was blessed to have known and worked with him. Jane Leaven

  8. I got to know Ted when I was temporarily moved to the IWD Waverly office due to the Waterloo office renovations. Ted made my stay pleasant and it was always a pleasure talking to Ted about his travels around the state. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Former IWD employee, Juanita Rubio

  9. Ted, not only a cousin but a dear friend! Many happy memories over the years! My first dance, my first beer, one of many hayrack rides, talks into the night! Ted, YOU’re a GOOD guy!! You will always make my heart smile. I love you!! We actually came from a long line of love – my Dad loved your Dad, My Mom loved your Mom, they were also very good friends!! Scott thought the world of you, as I do of Jennifer!! We were fortunate and grateful!! I will miss you, cuz!!!!! Sally Harms Beltz

  10. What a great picture of Ted. I saw that look many times during my opportunities to work with Ted on the Emergency Public Jobs programs. I have known Ted for 20 years, which is hard to believe!!!! I first worked with him on the Flood program of 93, 98 and last 2008 in Southeast Iowa. I always enjoyed Ted’s visit’s and monitoring of sites. What I will always remember is how Ted always enjoyed going out to a nice restaurant and looked forward to a nice treat! Ted was a pleasure to get to know and had a great passion for his job! So sad for your loss!!! Ted will be missed!!!
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

    Michelle Vandenberg
    Career Advisor/Rapid Response Coordinator
    Keokuk, Iowa

  11. Jennifer and family, Hope peace and comfort will sustain you! Grief is not a lack of faith, but the price of love! Sally and Scott Beltz

  12. When i got the message of Teds passing I was spending the weekend with my wife and our kids and grand children. I could not find the words of comfort at that time I needed to express so here goes Jennifer and family. The last visit i had with Ted as we talked about the weather and what was happening in each others lives, our families,the fish in the pond, and so on. Ted gave me some advise ” live everyday to the fullest, spend as much time as possible with your family,and hug your kids and grand kids” Ted always gave me the best advise when i had a problem and just needed another opinion
    and always said what ever decision you make you will make the most of it and the outcome will be good. I will think of Ted often when I am on the tractors at my farm or when i see a ford mustang on the highway…………

  13. So saddened to hear of Ted’s passing. He helped me over 20 years ago when I was going through a tough time by showing me the way to go back to school. With his help I earned my degree and am eternally grateful for his help. His smile and kindness were great traits and he helped make the holidays better for my family so many years ago. He touched my life and made it better. May he rest in peace. My sympathies to you Jennifer.

  14. Words cannot express our sorrow for the loss of this kind man — husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law. Once the pain of grief lessens, family will be comforted by many good memories. Hope family is comforted at this time by the love and support of so many who care. Sending our deepest sympathies — Tom and Shirley Spain

  15. Jennifer and Family of Ted: The thing about Ted was he had this great soul and a huge heart. That was obvious to everyone that he worked with at the Job Training Programs. I will never forget him teaching me and Grandson(Jalen) how to shoot potatoes with the potato shooter,LOL and his love for collector cars and tractors!! When visiting with you and him earlier last year, I could feel the peace that surrounded the both of you, may that peace sustain you and your family.
    Sincerely, Wanda Wyatt-Hardwick

  16. Jennifer and Family I have you in my prayers. I had the distinct pleasure of working with your husband for years with our Dislocated Workers programs which was one of the toughest part of my job – working with folks who lost their jobs and livelihood through no fault of their own. Facing an uncertain future and worrying about taking care of their families was the only thing on their minds and our jobs were to help them open another door and start a new life and journey to take care of themselves and their families. Ted was the perfect person for that job because he cared about the workers and gave them hope in starting their new endeavors. He did it with kindness and a caring heart. I was fortunate to work with such a man – someone who truly cared about his fellow man. God bless and keep you and your family. Don’t worry about Ted he is doing fine with his Father.

  17. Ted and I worked together for several years in Waverly when he was based out of the Workforce Development office there. I always enjoyed his presence and looked forward to our conversations on a wide variety of topics. I can agree with all the sincere and special comments about him I have read from his colleagues and friends on this site. I remember how much fun I had talking with him about the undefeated 1967 Allison-Bristow football team, of which Ted was a member. As somebody else mentioned, I can recall being the lucky recipient on several occasions of some exceptional sweet corn Ted shared with me. I will always have fond memories of Ted. Lee Luther

  18. Jennifer and family, we were so saddened to hear of Ted’s passing. He was a good person, employee, and friend. Whenever we think of him, we will remember his robust laugh and his love of life. Condolences, Diane and Paul

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