Judge Martha Ware Obituary, 2009

Martha Ware Obituary

Longtime Hingham District Court Judge Martha Ware, who died this week, was a legend in her time, and Abington residents remember how influential she was.

“I always admired her, and when I heard she had become a judge, I thought, ‘Oh, that is awesome!’ said Nancy Reed, a retired assistant town librarian. Reed, a lifelong Abington resident, recalls seeing Ware around town in the 1940s and 1950s.

Ware, who also was a retired Plymouth District Court special justice, died Tuesday at age 91.

Reed said Ware’s father, Samuel, also lived into his 90s.

Ware graduated from Abington High School in 1935 and from Colby Sawyer College in New London, N.H., where she later was awarded an honorary doctorate. She graduated from Portia Law School (now the New England School of Law) in 1941. She later became clerk of the Hingham court.

In 1947, she became the first woman to be elected a selectman in Plymouth County. She later became a state representative.

As the first female judge in Plymouth County, she made younger women think of new possibilities for themselves, Reed said. Ware, then 38, was appointed to a judgeship by Gov. Christian Herter in 1956.

When she joined the Plymouth County Bar Association in 1942, she said, “I grew up an only child, but when I joined the bar association, I found out that I had many brothers and two other sisters.”

During her campaign for the Legislature in 1950, she was stricken with polio. She was confined to bed for three months but won the seat by 13 votes after a recount. Sitting in a wheelchair, she was sworn into office in January 1951.

Ware was named a trustee of Colby Sawyer College, Stonehill College and Whitman Mutual Federal Savings Bank.

“She was a woman who had become a judge at a time when that was unusual, and she also was a selectman, and no one had heard of a woman being a selectman, either,” Reed said.

“Anything that came up involving women or which women were interested in, Judge Ware was interested in.”

After she retired, Ware remained active. In 2002, she stopped by the Hingham courthouse for coffee with Judge Geraldine Lombardo the day Lombardo retired.

In 1998, Lombardo, the Hingham court’s presiding justice, called Ware a “superwoman” who ‘‘proved her dedication to the community. You have always been a good friend to everyone you met. You have been my mentor and role model. You have been my friend.”

Last spring, Ware attended the opening of the new senior center in Abington and the dedication of the exercise room.

In 1998, she told a Patriot Ledger reporter that one of her earliest memories of living on Adams Street in Abington was going across the street to Aunt Annie’s store. There, she said, you could sit at a small table and eat a sandwich, buy home-baked beans and bread and get an ice cream cone.

Source: The Patriot Ledger

Posted Aug 07, 2009 @ 08:06 AM
WARE, Honorable Judge Martha Special Justice in the Plymouth District Court, August 4, age 91. Loving daughter of the late Samuel and May Ware. Also, survived by her beloved Trueman and Lee Cook and Family, 4 4 3 Walk With God. Martha graduated from Abington High School, Colby Sawyer, where she received an honorary doctorial, and Porcher Law (New England School of Law). She was the first select woman for the town of Abington and later became a Massachusetts State Representative. Martha was the first Female Judge in Plymouth County. She was a trustee for Colby Sawyer, Stonehill College, and Whitman Mutual Federal. Martha loved her parents Sam and May, sailing with her dad, golf, cruising, and was a member of the Scituate Yacht Club, Puritan Bridge club, and was very proud of her days in the Massachusetts Courts and remembered most for her dedication and giving to the Juvenile Courts. A prayer service will be held Friday, August 7 at 6:30pm in the Quealy and Son Funeral Home, 116 Adams Street, ABINGTON. Visitation prior to service Friday, 4 to 6:30pm. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers donations in memory of the Honorable Martha Ware to: Attn: General Scholarship Fund, School of Nursing, Contributions payable to Signature Healthcare, 680 Centre Street, Brockton, MA 02302. For directions and online guestbook www.quealyandson.com Quealy and Son Funeral Home “Pride in Personal Service” (781) 878-2112
Source:  Quealy & Son Funeral Home, on-line

116 Adams Street
Abington, MA 02351
(781) 878-2112


Judge Martha Ware Obituary, 2009 — 1 Comment

  1. Great article on Her Honor Martha Ware. I wonder if this is where Judge Judy and others got the idea to take their cases to court on National TV? That would make Judge Martha a pioneer in this field, don’t ‘cha think?

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