Dr. William Smiley Ware, Emeritus Professor, 89, residing at Canterbury Gardens, Harlingen Texas, died on Monday, September 13, 2010, at Harlingen Medical Center, following a brief illness.
He was born April 15, 1921 in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Smiley and Frances May Walker Ware.
He spent his childhood in Missouri and Arkansas, and graduated from high school in Siloam Springs Arkansas. He was a student at the University of Arkansas until he entered Cadet Training active duty in the Army Air Forces, August 27, 1942 in California.
He married Lillian Mae Mandru of Chicago in 1942 and they spent their honeymoon at Fort Benning, Georgia where he completed a tour as instructor pilot with a Troop Carrier Wing. Then he was sent to Africa with the Fourth Troop Carrier Squadron and made supply and troop drops in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, South France, Greece, India and China.
He flew 101 missions and sorties as an Operations Officer (MOS 2161) in the European Theater of Operations. Lt. Ware was the assistant to the Commander of the 51st troop Carrier Wing when they received the Presidential Citation Award for outstanding service rendered in Burma.
In 1946 he returned to Mather Air Force Base and assumed the duties of a Group Commander and advanced in rank to Major.
He was awarded the following Service Medals: American Theater Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Victory Medal, and the Ruptured Duck
For heroism and extraordinary achievement he was awarded the Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Distinguished Unit Badge.
On Feburary 11, 1947, Maj. Ware became a civilian and resumed college at the University of California, Davis, under the GI Bill. He completed his Bachelor of Science in 1948, graduating with Highest Honors. He continued his post-graduate work in genetics under Professor Paul Wallace Gregory, and was a Research Assistant and a Teaching Assistant in Animal Husbandry. He completed his dissertation on the genetics of dwarfism in beef cattle and received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1952.
He became a tenured member of the faculty at Pan American College, Edinburg, in 1952, as the Division Director of Agriculture and Technical Arts. He was the first Chairman of the Math and Science Department. As the college grew, he became the Chairman of the Science Department, and the Chairman of the Biology Department. He saw a need for nurses in the community, so he initiated the first Nursing Program. He established the Marine Lab on South Padre Island and coached the golf team. When he discovered that many of his students had never been out of the Valley, he took them on many educational field trips to the King Ranch and stock shows in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. He was a big fan of the Pan Am Broncs and Coach Jim Brooks, and many of the basketball players were his students.
In June, 1957, he spent the summer at Moore Air Force Base employed by California Eastern to administer the Academic Training Courses to the Air Academy Cadets during each group’s 2-week stay at the base.
As a community leader, he served as an Elections Official and Judge for Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, he served on the Edinburg Planning and Zoning Commission, the Water District Board, and was a Livestock Show Judge.
He worked for the U.S. Census in 2000, going house to house on South Padre Island and surrounding areas.
Dr. Ware was and avid golfer, bike rider, and racquetball player and the kids in his Edinburg neighborhood, would line up to get rides on his scooter and golf cart. He loved music, and played the piano, fiddle, and guitar since childhood. He would bring educational films and a movie projector home from school and show these movies to the neighborhood kids in his livingroom. In 1957, he and his son Steven, participated in Quarter Midget Racing with friend Jack Slay, naming their car #30 “Squalla” because it was so loud.
After retirement from Pan Am, he moved to South Padre Island and enjoyed swimming and jogging on the beach. He started flying again and had a Cessna 170 and a 182, and was a member of the QB’s (Anciente & Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen). . Along with his friend Don Warner Sr. they took many flying trips together. He loved antiques and he and his late son William collected and repaired antique clocks. His other hobbies were picking up and recycling aluminum cans, card games, word puzzles, reading the newspaper, and telling funny stories.
He was a founding member of Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Edinburg and he and his wife, Lillian, made the stained glass windows for the church in honor of their youngest child, William, who was killed in car accident when he was 19.
Dr. Ware is survived by his wife Lillian, son Dr. Steven (Dr. Marise Kelly) Ware of Houston, daughter Mrs. Kathryn Shaw of South Padre Island, daughter Philene (Paul) Ware Dunn of Vienna, VA granddaughter Miss Jayne A. Ware of Houston, granddaughter Ensign Lillian Ware Dunn of Vienna, VA granddaughter Miss Isabella Comphel of Vienna, VA granddaughter Miss Leila Ware Dunn of Vienna, VA grandson Peter Ware Dunn of Vienna, VA beloved sister Mrs. Margy Chernovetz of Phoenix, AZ
He was predeceased by son William R. Ware, March 29, 1980, and his brother Robert Ware, December 24, 1941.
There will be a memorial service at 11:00 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2010, at Saint Andrew’s By the Sea, Yturria & North Shore Drive, Port Isabel, Texas (956-943-1962)
Inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, 9:00 AM, December 23, 2010, will Full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, the Ware family requests gifts be made to The University of Texas – Pan American Foundation for educational and scientific purposes to benefit the students that Dr. Ware enjoyed so much.
All arrangements were handled by Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home, Harlingen, Texas.
Source: Valley Morning Star, October 03, 2010