Helen Gorton Ware Obituary, 2002

Helen Gorton Ware, 96, of Lewiston, died peacefully at her home Friday, Jan. 11, 2002. Family members were at her side. Mrs. Ware was born June 11, 1905, at Duluth, Minn., to George Lewis Gorton and Mary Louise Fink Gorton. Her father died when she was two years old. As a child, she moved to Montana where her widowed mother homesteaded. Following graduation as Salutatorian of the Valier High School class of 1921, she attended Carlton College in Northfield, Minn., from 1921-23. At the age of 18, with two years of college, she became eligible for an elementary teaching certificate. To help support the education of her younger sister, she left Carlton and taught third and fourth grade at Sims, Mont., from 1923-26. She then attended the University of Montana where she lettered in debate and was awarded the “1907 Class Prize” at the time of her graduation with honors in June 1927. A dedicated educator, she returned to teaching at the high school in Wibaux, Mont., where she taught teacher training courses from 1927-29. In 1929, she came to Lewiston to be on the faculty of Lewiston State Normal School. There, she was the Second Grade Supervisor at the Laboratory School and taught regular courses in the college. Soon after arriving in Lewiston, she met attorney Marcus J. Ware. They were married in 1933. It was the heart of the Great Depression and as one wage earner in the family was regarded as sufficient during those lean times, she was not allowed to retain her teaching position at the Normal School. She never ceased teaching, however. For many years, she taught and guided valley youth through Camp Fire Girls, Sunday School, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs. A highlight of her life in Lewiston was her work in a number of community organizations. Before World War II, she was an active member of the American Association of University Women and served for a time as its vice president. She was a member of Chapter Q of P.E.O. for over 67 years and served in all chapter offices, including two terms as chapter president. She was elected to the P.E.O. State Board in 1958 and served as Idaho state president for 1964-65. Subsequently, she chaired the international organization’s supply department. A member of the Alice Whitman Chapter of the DAR, she held numerous offices, including regent. She was queen of Malac Temple of Daughters of the Nile, president of the Tseminicum Club and was guardian of Jobs Daughters Bethel 53. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Beauceant. A long-standing focus of Mrs. Ware’s community service was improvement of cultural activities in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. In 50 or so years of working with the Community Concert Association, she was consistently the top membership salesperson and in 1989 received a National Merit Award for her work with the concert series. After the Washington-Idaho Symphony was established, she was an avid supporter through the Symphony League. A tireless volunteer and leader, she was a faithful member of the First Methodist Church at Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street. More recently, she became a vital force in the Congregational Presbyterian Church and was ordained as an elder. Well into her eighties, she volunteered to make deliveries for the Meals on Wheels program. The Altrusa Club of Lewiston-Clarkston honored her as their Woman of Achievement for 1989. She is survived by a son, Robert Gorton Ware of Fresno, Calif.; and two daughters, Barbara Ware Featherstone of Kirkland, Wash., and Elizabeth Ware of Sacramento, Calif. She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Virginia Lee Ware; her son, Lt. Donald Frank Ware; her husband of 65 years, Marcus J. Ware; and her sister, Grace Gorton Peck. The funeral will be Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Congregational-Presbyterian Church at Lewiston. Rev. John Williams will officiate. A private burial will be at the Normal Hill Cemetery. Malcom’s Brower-Wann Funeral Home at Lewiston is in charge of the arrangements. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the charity of your choice or to the Ware Family Fellowship Fund to be established at the University of Idaho.

Source:  Lewiston Morning Tribune (ID) – Wednesday, January 16, 2002

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