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Ted A. Harms, 68

Lead Summary

Ted A. Harms, 68, died at his home in rural New Hampton surrounded by his family on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. He went to be with his Lord and Savior following an illness.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, with Rev. Cory Orr of Prairie Lakes Church presiding.  
Friends may greet the family from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.  
Online condolences for Ted’s family may be left at
Ted was born on Sept. 24, 1949, in rural Butler County. He was the only son of Albert and Doris (Mortvedt) Harms. 
He attended school in Allison from kindergarten through high school graduation in 1967. 
He attended Iowa State University 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 Vietnam. He returned home after 14 months in Vietnam and returned to Iowa State. 
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 1980s. 
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 B.A. 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 five 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, Kan., where Ted continued similar work for Kansas State Department 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, and Ashley (Scott) Danger of Iowa Falls; daughter-in-law Marty (Smutz) Kramer of Mt. Auburn; 16 grandchildren; and one 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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