Alma Miller Ware, a University of Washington nursing professor emeritus, “was very, very proud” to be a nurse, says a colleague.
“She was an advocate of treating nurses as full professionals, not as doctors’ assistants,” said Patricia Black, a doctor who studied at the UW during Mrs. Ware’s tenure. “She believed in the intelligence and professionalism it took to be a nurse.”
Mrs. Ware worked in the community, as executive director of the King County Nurses Association, and at the UW to promote advanced curricula for nurses.
She also gave healthy-aging presentations around Washington while employed by the state Department of Retirement Systems in the 1980s. Her gerontology courses and healthy-aging seminars became models for such programs.
“She was a pioneer in gerontology nursing,” said Black. “She was one of the first nurses to develop a curriculum for a master’s program (at the UW).”
Mrs. Ware died of a blood disorder Sunday (Aug. 23) in Johnston, Iowa, her home since 1997. She was 71.
Her colleague June Schultz called her “a wonderful friend and a brilliant lady professionally, respected in all fields of nursing.”
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Mrs. Ware earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Iowa in 1952. She became a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Des Moines in 1953. She then earned a master’s degree in nursing at the UW in 1960.
She taught at the University of Bridgeport in Iowa until 1968 and taught at the UW from 1968 to 1979.
Mrs. Ware mentored health-care students, read about anthropology and enjoyed entertaining friends at her Wedgwood home. She was notably interested in the social aspects of aging, and was aging “quite elegantly” herself, said Black:
“She had wonderful taste, like having Steuben glassware and fine books. She was a large woman and sat in her wing chair as if she were a dowager empress. She was fond of calling people `Dear Heart,’ and saying, `Would you bring me something?’
“She was extremely strong at a time when nurses weren’t strongly regarded. I wouldn’t call her a feminist. She was a `personist.’ ”
Survivors include Mrs. Ware’s parents, Cecil and Helen McDowell of Des Moines, Iowa; her brother, John Miller of Johnston, Iowa; and her sisters, Marty Weaver and Elizabeth Sutton, both of Des Moines, and Mary Houston of Los Angeles.
Services have been held. Remembrances may go to St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church, 4605 N.W. 47th Court, Webster Township, IA 50310.
Source: By Carole Beers, Seattle Times Staff Reporter