Ware II, B. T. (Tol) Amarillo banker and philanthropist, died May 12, 2014 at the age of 95. He was Chairman of Amarillo National Bank, probably the largest 100% family owned bank in the United States. His grandfather and namesake purchased the bank in 1908, and it has remained in the family’s hands, with the 5th generation now in the bank. He and his sons were named “Bankers of the Century” by Texas Monthly magazine in 1999. Tol graduated from Amarillo High School and attended the University of Texas where he was President of his fraternity, a member of the Cowboys, and intramural champion in tennis and baseball. He was in the U.S. Army during World War II. Philanthropic activities covered a broad range in Amarillo from the Ware Tower at BSA Hospital to the Ware Living Center at Park Central to the Kid’s Inc. Warehouse headquarters to the Tol Ware Park at City Church. He was named Amarillo Philanthropist of the Year in 2004. For 65 years he was an avid tennis player and a driving force behind the Tennis Center at Austin Middle School and the indoor facilities at Amarillo Country Club, T Bar M and the Amarillo National Tennis Center. In 1963, he was ranked number two in Texas in Father and Son tennis. The Amarillo National Bank Health Club has a simple chrome plaque at the door that says merely “Thanks Tol”. Just his style—short, simple and humble. Mary, his wife of 68 years, died in 2011 and his son, Bill, died in 2012. He is survived by his son, Richard, and his grandchildren, Anne-Clayton Vroom of Dallas, William, Pat, Benj, W. Tol and Savannah Singleton, all of Amarillo, as well as eight great-grand children. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to The Ware Living Center at Park Central, Kid’s Inc., Animal Rescue Shelter or a favorite charity.
Source: Dallas Morning News on May 13, 2014