Catharina "Toos" Ward

August 16, 1931 ~ April 19, 2022 (age 90)


Catharina “Toos” Ward, age 90, died suddenly in her home of heart failure on April 19, 2022 with her son Marc at her side. She spent the previous weekend surrounded by her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at a family gathering.

Born on August 16, 1931, in Delft, Netherlands to Jan and Anna van Bilsen. Her father died when she was 6 years old. Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands two years later. She has many memories of the occupation; including her brother Leo being taken from home to a forced labor camp in Germany and watching her mother hold onto her sister Jos when she was detained after being accused of working for the Dutch Resistance. Both siblings survived and lived long and meaningful lives. She did not talk much about those years until later in her life.

Toos met her husband Paul Ward while he was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Netherlands. Missionaries who were renting a room in her mother’s home shared the Gospel with Toos and her family. Their message resonated with Toos; she is the only member of the church in her family. She and Paul first met just prior to her joining the church. After his mission, Paul invited Toos to visit America-they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 14, 1952. They had a love-filled marriage spending 57 years devoted to one another. Her family takes great comfort in knowing that Paul and Toos had an eternal marriage and they are now together again.

Toos was an excellent swimmer and swam for the Dutch National Team. She used her passion and skill for swimming to teach swimming lessons in Boise for over 30 years. Hundreds of Boise children learned to swim, thanks to Toos.

She used her swimming money to return home to visit almost every year in April while the tulips were in bloom. She treasured the time she spent visiting her family. She was often homesick for Holland and never stopped loving that country and her people.

Toos was a fun-loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Swim parties and popsicles in the summer and skiing and salami sandwiches in the winter were her trademarks.

Toos and Paul traveled the world together. She loved clothes and shoes and dressed beautifully all her life. She appreciated beautiful things. But her scriptures were her most valued possession. She loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and studying the principles and doctrines of the gospel was one of the great joys of her life. She was a missionary at heart, and her service with Paul as Mission President in the Netherlands for three years was one of the highlights of her life. She loved the missionaries she served with and treated the Sisters and Elders as fellow servants in the most important work in the world.

Toos would want you to show your love and respect for her by showing your love and respect to God. She would want you to love yourself, to be confident like she is, to enjoy repenting every day, to forgive yourself and forgive others. Love your life, and have fun!

Toos was survived by her five children and their spouses, Roy Ward (Mary), Angela Webb (Kimo), Chad Ward (Susan), Heidi Roark (Tony), and Marc Ward (Sara). Seventeen grandchildren and thirty-three great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband Paul. Her parents Jan and Anna van Bilsen, her seven siblings, her grandchildren: Paul LeRoy Ward III, Erin Camille Webb, Harrison Roark, and one great-grandchild, Onyx Forward.


To send flowers to Catharina "Toos" Ward's family, please visit our floral store.


April 25, 2022

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - N. Meridian Rd.
6650 N. Meridian Rd.
Meridian, ID 83646

April 25, 2022

11:00 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - N. Meridian Rd.
6650 N. Meridian Rd.
Meridian, ID 83646

Video is available for this event


Dry Creek Cemetery
9600 Hill Road
Boise, ID 83714

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