Added by: Len Ware
Birthday: July 17, 1926
Passed Away: February 24, 2013
Service Date: February 26, 2013
Pauline Perry Ware “Miss Polly”,a resident of the Blackwater Community near Manila, began her eternal life in Heaven on Sunday, February 24, 2013 . She was reunited there with her husband and a host of family and friends to whom she had bid a brief farewell during her lifetime.
She was born on July 17, 1926 at Earle to Robert Grover Perry, Sr. and Lena Harris Perry. Her early childhood was spent at Ravenden. When she was a young teenager, her family moved to Manila where she attended school at Rocky and later at Manila High School from which she was graduated with honors in 1944. Those who knew her admired her desire and determination to receive a high school diploma despite many obstacles and hardships.
Miss Polly became a school teacher beginning her career at the Section 16 School immediately after graduating high school. She also taught at the Milligan Ridge School and at various times between 1963 and 1981 for the Manila School District. Later in her life at age 53 she received a BSE degree in Elementary Education from Arkansas State University and pursued an MSE degree in Special Education. She was a member of the first graduating class from the former MCCC college in Blytheville in 1977.
On February 3, 1944 she married the love of her life, Auddie Byrl Ware. Byrl and Polly shared thirty-seven years of their lives together until Mr. Ware’s death in 1981. Mrs. Ware was proud to remain his widow and lived out the remainder of her life in their home where she has lived since 1963.
Mrs. Ware was a Christian. She worshipped and served her lord in the Church of Christ. For twenty-five years she taught the Sunday morning Pre-school class at the Manila Church of Christ. Throughout her lifetime she was a member of the church at Milligan Ridge, Cottonwood Corner, Bono, County Line, Manila, Monette and Little River. For several years, she tutored children who were living at the Church of Christ sponsored Children’s Home in Paragould and together with her good friend, Amy Cagle, held garage sales and donated the proceeds to the orphanage.
Her life was a testament to her unwavering faith in God, her stalwart moral character and to her unconditional love for her family and friends. Miss Polly greeted everyone who came to her home with a smile and gave them hugs as they arrived and when they left. She seldom met a stranger and those that she did meet soon became her friend.
Loved ones who will cherish her memory include two children: a daughter, Gayla Sue Gilvin and son-in-law, Daniel Gilvin of O’Fallon, Missouri; a son , Auddie Len Ware and daughter-in-law, Debbie Ware of Jonesboro; a grandson, Chris Ware and his wife, Carrie Ware, of Hot Springs; two great-grandsons, Noah Lee Gilvin and Evan Ryan Ware; her brother, Bill Perry and sister-in-law, Elnora Perry of Leachville; and her sister, Imogene Powell of , Lennon, Michigan.
In addition to her parents and her husband she was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert Grover Perry, Jr. and Gerald L. Perry; two sisters, Berna Larie Perry and Maxine Perry Rowley; and a grandson, Danny Lee Gilvin.
A memorial celebration will be held on Tuesday, February 26, at 1:00 p.m. at Gregg Funeral Home Chapel in Monette. Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. Private burial will be in Manila Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those desiring to honor Miss Polly’s memory do so by “paying it forward” with a random act of kindness, a smile, or words of encouragement to someone who is in need of a friend.
This is the eulogy that was read at her memorial service by her son, Len Ware:
“Those who have passed from this life die only when we, whom they loved, forget them.”
On behalf of my sister, myself and the entire family I want to thank you for coming today to remember our mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and dear friend, Pauline Perry Ware.
Those who knew Mom as a friend called her “Miss Polly”. She was tagged with that name in grade school by her teacher and when she taught school she had her students call her “Miss Polly”.
Mom was born on July 17, 1926 at Earle Arkansas to Robert Grover Perry, Sr. and Lena Harris Perry. At that time she had an older brother, Bud and an older sister, Ima. Later, her sister Mackey and brothers, Billy Wayne and Gerald, who was known as “Rubber Joe” was born.
Mom often spoke of the loving bond that existed between each member of her family. She referred to this bond as unconditional love, a love that even death can not separate us from.
Her family moved to Ravenden, Arkansas during the 1927 flood. Later, they returned to the bottoms as Mom called this area and settled near Manila. She attended several schools in the Manila/Leachville area. She eventually graduated from Manila High School in 1944.
She was motivated by a desire to learn and to acquire the necessary skills that would allow her to fulfill her dream to one day become a school teacher herself. After graduation from Manila High School, she attended Arkansas State College in Jonesboro, Arkansas but “life” had other plans for her so she had to put her college degree on hold and raise her family. Then in 1975 Dad made it possible for her to be among the first graduating class at the former MCCC college in Blytheville. After that at age 53 she was graduated from ASU in 1979. After Dad’s death, she pursued a Master’s degree in Special Education but had to quit and retire from teaching because of her heart condition.
As a teenager, Mom had to overcome many obstacles in order to stay in high school. She often walked quite a distance from near Shrable’s Store near the Sixteen Community to Manila High School. In cold weather, kind friends along the route invited her into their homes to warm and often loaned her a change of dry clothes or shoes to wear. Occasionally she was lucky enough to catch a ride with someone who was going into town that day.
When she graduated, my Grandma Perry bought her class ring with money that she earned from taking in laundry and ironing for the public and also from picking radishes for just pennies a day. That symbol of love from her mother and her wedding ring from my Dad was among her most cherished posessions.
My mother met the love of her life, Auddie Byrl Ware, by being friends with his sister, Frankie. She used to invite herself home with Frankie so that she could be around Byrl. She spent so much time with the Wares that they became like a second family to her. Her eye and her heart became enamored with Byrl as he sat on the bed in the other room and played his guitar.
She used to tell an amusing story of the day that she realized that she was in love with Byrl. Frankie was having one of her social gatherings for the teens in the community and Dad said to Mom, “Hey Perry girl, go into the kitchen and get me some more tea to drink.”
This made her furious and when she told my Grandma Ware about it, Grandma laughed and said, “Polly, you don’t know it yet, but you are in love with Byrl.”
Mom had previously dated Dad’s cousin, Pud Dillsaver. Last week when she lay dying she suddenly raised a finger in the air and said, “I want to set the record straight.” I said, “Ok Mom, what do you want to set straight? Mom replied, “About that Pud Dillsaver. He always told people that I broke up with him to marry your Dad. Well, that ain’t the way that “it went down!” I was surprised that my Mom used such a phrase as how it went down! Mom continued, “Pud came and told me that he was joining the Navy. I told him, “Pud Dillsaver, If you join the Navy, don’t expect me to stay here and wait on you. She explained that Pud chided her and didn’t think that she was serious. She ended her setting the record straight, by saying, “After Pud entered the Navy, I met you Dad and the rest is history.”
Another amusing story surrounding their courtship is about the time that Mom and her sister Maxine were walking home from the store with their arms loaded down with groceries. Byrl pulled up along side them in his car and offered them a ride. Mom fixed her eyes straight ahead and said much to Mackey’s surprise and dismay, “No thank you, we’ll walk!” Then Dad with his ever-ready quick wit smiled and replied, “Well then, at least put your groceries in the front seat and I’ll give them a ride home.”
They eventually wed on February 3rd, 1944 at the Craighead County Courthouse in Lake City. My uncle Gordon Ware and Aunt Frankie Ware-McDole were witnesses. Even on the ride home, Mom was furious with Dad because Uncle Gordon rode in the front seat with him and she and Frankie rode in the rumble seat in the back.
Mom had a very special friend, Mary Caery, who later became her sister-in-law when she married Dad’s brother, Henry Ware. They wound up to be sisters-in-law but they had become sisters in their hearts long before either of them met Byrl or Henry. Mary always referred to Mom as the sister that she never had and Mom loved Mary just as much as a sister.
When Dad was overseas, Mom taught school at Milligan Ridge and at the Section 16 schools. In later years, she reminissed about teaching her two younger brother, “Rubber” and Bill.
She often told an amusing story about having to make an example of them because the other students thought that she was partial to her brothers. On one occasion, she called them into the cloak room and scolded them for something. She didn’t have the heart to paddle her own brothers so she beat a coat with the paddle and told them that they had better leave that room acting like they had just gotten the beating of their lives. Dad’s cousin, James Rowlett, told some of the other boys that he had better stay out of trouble because if she would whip her brothers like that, then she’d really hurt him because he was just a cousin!
One day after school, Mom received a telegram telling her that Dad had been seriously wounded in Belgium. Upon receiving the telegram, she walked to Manila and then caught a bus to Blytheville to go to the Red Cross office in order to try to learn more about his condition.
Several months later, Dad was sent to the Lawson General Army Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Mom quit her teaching job and for the first time in her life rode alone on a bus to Atlanta. She rented an apartment near the hospital and visited Dad every day. They were able to live on the money that she had saved from teaching school. Mom told me that Dad was very proud of “his little, Polly.” He had a picture of her displayed beside his bed and the other men thought that it was a picture of a movie star.
After many months of recuperation, Mom and Dad returned to Manila and resumed farming. Soon afterwards, their first born, a daughter, Gayla Sue was born on August 9, 1946.
Mom delighted in showing off her daughter’s blond curls and in making her frilly dresses. But Dad taught her to hunt, to fish and to climb trees. Despite all of her efforts to prevent it, her little girl turned into a tomboy, the apple of her Daddy’s eye.
For the next eleven years, Mom and Dad farmed at Manila, Milligan Ridge, Cottonwood Corner, Bono and in the Mt. Pisgah community located south of Jonesboro. They had tried during this time to have more children but Mom had two miscarriages, so in 1956, they decided to buy my Grandma Perry’s house at Manila in order to be closer to doctors and hospitals so that they could possibly have another child. That’s when I entered the picture on Jan, 25th 1957 during one of the worst ice storms of that century.
In 1961 we moved to the Blackwater community into the Walter Caery homeplace. This is where I grew up and where Mom lived out the remainder of her life.
Mom always said that she and Dad had done a lot of livin’ in that house. But their home was more than just walls and a roof. Their home began in their hearts before they were married and the love that was planted there grew and became stronger as their thirty-seven years together unfolded.
Even after Dad’s death on April 6, 1981, his love continued to sustain her. I’m sure that she spent many hours remembering the good times that she and Dad enjoyed together.
Mom met everyone who came into their home with a warm smile and a hug. She would tell people that she was known as the “hugger”, not the “mugger”. Mom was a “people person”. When Dad was alive she devoted every minute to him, but after his death she enjoyed visiting with her friends in their homes. She often went to the nursing home and read to patients or visited with someone who didn’t have much company. Together with her friend, Amy Nell Cagle, she tutored children at the Children’s Home in Paragould. During the summers she and Amy would have garage sells and donate the proceeds to the orphanage.
She cherished the many hours that she spent with her grandsons, Danny Lee Gilvin and Christopher Ryan Ware. It gave her great joy to be able to know her great-grandsons, Noah Lee Gilvin and Evan Ryan Ware. Her bookcases and walls are filled with cherished family portraits. The wall behind her favorite chair is adorned with momentos from her children and grandchildren expressing their love and honor for her.
Mom’s life can be summed up in three words, faith, hope, and love. I Corinthians 13 verses 12 and 13 read, ” For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
“And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
Mom became a Christian at the age of 16. She remained a faithful servant of the Lord throughout her lifetime. She took me and my sister to church and taught both of our Sunday School classes. She taught the preschool class at Manila Church of Christ for over 25 years.
Whenever adversity befell our family, she would say,” It’s in God’s hands.” “Our faith will carry us through this.”
During her final days last week several people asked if there wasn’t any hope of her getting well. Mom overheard someone ask this and said, ” Yes, there is hope in the resurrection of our lord and savior, Jesus.” She added, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not parish but have everlasting life.”
When her journey home first began last Feb. 16th, she called her loved ones and expressed her love for them. She encouraged all of us to not grieve for her because she was going to a better place.
I am thankful that I got to spend Mom’s final days with her. We told each other things that many people never get to say to a loved one and when they are gone they regret having not said them.
I got to tell Mom about the plans that I had for her funeral. When I told her that I wanted the song, “Dancing With Angels” played at the service, she said, “Dancing! I don’t dance.” I replied, “Mom, the bible says that you’ll be dancing around God’s throne in Heaven.” Mom looked at me with a wry smurk and said, “I’ll have to ask if that’s allowed.”
Mom had no regrets in her life. She was a woman who exemplified her faith, proclaimed her hope of eternal life and left a legacy of love for her family and friends.
Proverbs 31: 28 says of a virturous woman: “Her children arise and call her blessed and her husb and praiseth and honors her.” My sister and I are comforted by the fact that we know without question that Mom was welcomed into Heaven as Jesus said, “Welcome Polly, enter into the place that I have prepared for you.” We can just imagine the joyous reunion that was held as she was reunited with Grandma and Grandpa Perry, Mackey, Uncle Rubber Joe , Danny Lee, her friends and especially with our Dad. We know that they are holding hands and that Mom is telling Dad about Noah and Evan.
Mom would admonish us today with this piece of advice. She would say, “The bottom line is: “Remember the good times and the love that we shared together. Prepare to meet me in Heaven where I will await you with open arms and with unconditional love as always. Mourn for me as God meant for humans to grieve when their hearts ache, but after a short while, put a period.”
The following poem expresses that sentiment:
To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me
When I am gone, release me. Let me go
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears, Be
happy, we had so many years.
I gave you my love and you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it’s time I traveled alone.
So grieve a while for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless those memories in your heart.
I won’t be far away for life goes on
So if you need me , call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near
with all my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with open arms and say, “Welcome Home!”.
A video tribute to Pauline Perry Ware may be viewed at: