Phil Ware, who taught at Massapequa’s Unqua Elementary School for three decades before retiring in the early 1990s, is being remembered by friends and family as a beloved teacher who was devoted to children. After suffering a stroke, Ware died in his sleep at his Greensboro, North Carolina home last month. He was 68. “He was probably the kindest and most loved person in this building,” said Dr. John Caruso, principal of Unqua, who worked with Phil for several years at the school. He noted that Mr. Ware taught the children, by example, about the importance of being good, and was genuinely concerned about the welfare of his students. “He was far ahead of his time,” Dr. Caruso added. Ware taught sixth grade, and, recalled his daughter JoAnn Abbott, he was so enthusiastic about the job that he used to host end-of-the-year barbecues at the family’s home in Copiague. “He loved the kids, and they loved him,” she said. She also described him as a kind, warm-hearted man who was always making up nicknames for his students and children, and who had an outstanding sense of humor. “He was the silliest person on earth,” Abbott added. She noted that her father also loved dogs, history, and gardening. She added that he and his wife, Eileen, Abbott’s stepmother, were always the “goofiest, most in-love couple.” MaryAnn Ranallo, a desk receptionist at Unqua whose son is one of Mr. Ware’s former students, was among others who shared fond memories of the teacher. “The children all loved him,” she said. “He was just a good person.” In addition to his wife Eileen and daughter JoAnn, Phil Ware is survived by his daughter Lynn Obester, sons Robert and Glenn, five step-sons and several grandchildren. The faculty of Unqua plan to plant a tree to honor Mr. Ware’s memory. In addition, Ms. Abbott has asked that his former students send to her anecdotes of her father for a memory book which she is compiling for his widow, Eileen Ware. Abbott’s e-mail address is: email@example.com, and her mailing address is 107B Evans Street, Fort Huachuca, AZ 85613. She also provided a mailing address for those who wish to send condolence cards to Eileen. That address is 34 Brookway Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410.
Source: Massapequan Observer (NY) – Friday, November 5, 1999