Jesse Pratt Ware II Obituary, 2008

Jesse Pratt Ware II

YORK HARBOR, MAINE Jesse Ware, adored husband of Leslie Ware, passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, at his York home following a brief illness. He was born June 18, 1915, in Ocean City, N.J., the son of Jesse Pratt Ware and Emma Hess Ware. He was a 1935 graduate of Hamilton High School in Hamilton Township, N.J. While in high school, he worked as an apprentice at the Fernley Boat Shop in Trenton, N.J., beginning what was to become a life-long love affair with wooden boatbuilding. Following high school, Jesse worked at several jobs in the Trenton, N.J., area as a linoleum factory cutter at the Sloan Blabem Company, an insulating tub sealer at The Crescent Insulated Wire & Cable Company and a stamping press operator at the New Jersey Public Seating Co. He landed his first boat building position with the Hubert & Johnson Boatyard in Bay Hear, N.J. At the onset of World War II, he went to work for the government at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Boat Shop. He served his country during World War II as the inspector of Ship Construction-Wood for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships, overseeing the construction of large mine sweepers and PT boats in yards from Camden, N.J., to Cape May. Following World War II, Jesse returned to the world of civilian boatbuilding at the Comstock Boat Yard in Matedaconk, N.J. In 1950, he founded J.P. Ware Inc., General Contractor, building houses and constructing docks along the Brielle, N.J., waterfront. To complement his house building division, he founded Pine Craft Provincial, which manufactured kitchen cabinets, windows and doors. In 1952, Jesse purchased a 550-acre Lookout Farm in Woodstock, Vt., as a vacation home and hunting retreat. In 1960, he moved permanently to Hartland, Vt., and shortly thereafter founded Vermont Log Homes, the first manufactured log home company in the country. The business expanded rapidly with plant sites in four states, including Traditional Log Homes of North Carolina, Carolina Log Buildings, Arkansas Log Homes, Real Log Homes of Montana and Sierra Log Homes of Nevada. In 1974, Jesse founded his second major venture into manufactured housing, Timberpeg Post & Beam Homes, based in Claremont, N.H. Timberpeg expanded quickly with plants in North Carolina and Colorado. The log and post and beam manufacturing companies were organized under the banner of Traditional Living Inc. for which Mr. Ware served as both president and chairman of the board until the companies were sold in 1979. At the time of sale, Traditional Living Inc. was the largest manufacturer of log and post and beam homes in the U.S. Following the sale of Traditional Living Inc., Mr. Ware collaborated with product development related to biomass pelletized fuels, advanced wood combustion and thermal conversion systems. In 1993, he founded Wastech Inc., a research and development firm which pioneered the use of microwave technology for waste treatment and water purification, resulting in several patents which remain in effect today. An avid pilot, Mr. Ware founded Ware Air Inc., a private charter carrier headquartered at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, N. H. Throughout his career, he was responsible for several real estate development projects and related business ventures including Jesse’s restaurant in Hanover, N.H., and the conversion of the former Public Service of New Hampshire repair facility on Bow St. in Portsmouth, N.H., into residential and commercial condominiums, part of which he donated to Theatre By The Sea for construction of their new theater and lobby. Jesse’s love of flying, the outdoors and hunting are what brought him to Vermont in the ”50s. Northern New England adopted and embraced him. It was his kind of place, from the white and green mountains to the coast of Maine. One of his fondest memories was building his duck camp on Merrymeeting Bay in Bowdoinham, Maine, with nephew Gordon Ware Jr., which he later donated to the Apprenticeshop Foundation in Bath, Maine. His span of 57 residences during his lifetime took him from the New Jersey shore to Easton, from Nantucket, Maine, to Gerrish Island, Kittery Pt., Maine, and from Woodstock, Vt., to the islands of Casco Bay, Maine. He leaves his wife of 31 years, Leslie Whalen Ware; his son, Jesse P. Ware III and his wife Janice of York, Maine; a daughter, Sharon Ware Fletcher and her husband Charlie of Talbott, Tenn.; a daughter (predeceased) Rene Ware; grandchildren, Douglas Koos and his wife Karen of Castine, Maine, Jesse P. Ware IV and Libby Devlin Ware of York, Maine, and Kimberly Koos Moore and her husband Allen of Jonesborough, Tenn.; and great-grandchildren, Courtney Elizabeth Koos and Madison Lynn Koos of Castine, Maine, and Mackenzie Erin Moore and Ashley Michelle Moore of Jonesborough, Tenn. He also leaves his beloved family members, brother-in-law Greg Whalen and his wife Vicki of Eliot, Maine, and their children Ashley E. Johnson and her husband Adam of Fairfax, Va., and Jared “Mike” Whalen of Nelson, N.H. Also surviving are his brother, Gordon Ware and his wife Lillian of Woodstock, Vt. Jesse Ware was born with wood in his veins and a work ethic defined by the Great Depression. His was a true Horatio Alger story of a boy born to poverty, and through perseverance and a belief in the greatness of this country rose to personal and professional greatness. He will be remembered for the standards he set and his drive for perfection, for the genius of his entrepreneurial visions and for his love of family. His woodworking and boatbuilding shops are legendary and in these later years his enjoyment was expressed in the many Joel White designed dinghys that he built for family and friends. He could solve anything mechanical and could design and construct anything from a tree. And he always “accentuated the positive.” Jesse was a corporator of the Piscataqua Savings Bank, Portsmouth, N.H., a former member of the Theatre by the Sea Board of Trustees, a former Trustee of the Apprenticeshop at the Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine, a life member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association since 1955. A Jesse Ware style celebration of life will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at his home, 1 Dabney Lane, York, Maine. Burial arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jesse P. Ware II Scholarship Fund, c/o Atlantic Challenge, a school for boatbuilding and seamanship, 643 Main Street, Rockland, ME 04841, or through their Web site at

Source:  Star Democrat, The (Easton, MD) – Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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