WARE, Earl Hodges, Sr., 102, actually, surprised us all by going Home to his Savior without giving us any advanced notice on June 29, 2014. He was always a strong, independent and humble man who did not want to be a bother to anyone. We do not question God’s plan for our Dad as He gave all of us who loved Dad many years beyond our wildest dreams. He was born June 18, 1912, in Worthington Springs, FL, to Lowell Gladstone and Ethel Hodges Ware. With brother, Carl, and sister, Mildred they helped work the family farm. When his Dad died, he was 7, and his mother taught school. These lean youthful years helped him hone those incredible character traits that made him a man of his faith, a man of his word and a true family man. This remarkable man married for 45 years, survived his beloved wife’s passing for 38 years continuing to love her beyond words. Versal Rita Kirkpatrick of Lakeland, FL, caught Dad’s eye when he was just 19. She, a Catholic, he, a Methodist in 1933, made for quite an adjustment for family members. However, he was a Father Superior as he helped her raise five Catholic children while he remained a faithful, active member of First United Methodist Church, downtown Tampa until well into his 90s. We lost our dear brother, Jim Ware, in 2012, and left to miss Dad immeasurably are his other children, Earl Ware, Jr., Barbara Ware (wife of Jim Ware) Jerry Ware, Linda Traviesa (Anthony), Dianne Chiozza (Frank). His grandchildren, Jim Ware, Jr., Michael Ware (Josina), Bill Ware (Sarah), Mark Ware (Jacque), Ricky Ware (Sherry), Cindy Ware. Chip/ Earl Ware III (Isabelle), Jeff Ware (Gayla), Jennifer Ware Massey (Jack), Laura Elizabeth Ware-Wash (Matt), Lisa Traviesa Rothberger (Rand), Anthony Trey Traviesa (Nina), Erinn Grahs (Michael), Brick Crunk. Fortunately, many of Dad’s great-grandchildren are blessed to have known their Great-Grandad: Jimmy Trey Ware, Justin Ware (Jennifer), Kristen Calle (Eddie), Caitlin Ware, Tommy Ware (Tristen), Capt. William Ware (Capt. Merritt), Vanessa Coleman (Bobby), Tori, Samantha and Dakota Ware, Zachary and Alexis Ware, Lydia and Audrey Ware, Brittany Ware, Jack, Ava and Mia Massey, Davis, Will and Chase Wash, Chase and Charlie Ware Rothberger, Alexa and Amelia Traviesa, Tanner, Molly, and Tyler Grahs. Great-great-grandchildren were icing on Dad’s cake because only people who live as long as he did were able to know these special children: Kayden Ware, Jeannie Barbara and Atticus Ware, Clayton Ware, Michael Wright, Gabriel Givens, Jackson Ware. Earl Ware began his adult life right after graduation from Orlando High School where he entered the retail furniture business in Avon Park, FL representing W.S. Badcock Corp., establisheding 4 stores in central FL. Four of his five children were born in the area where as a young husband and father, he became active in local government. In 1945, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines where he was assigned to a hospital ship bringing wounded soldiers from Cherbourg, France back to America. At war’s end, he moved his family to Tampa for better educational opportunities for his children. He then began Ware Manufacturing, a furniture company serving the southeast. Later he formed Ware Construction Company with sons, Earl, Jr. and Jim, building many of the commercial facilities in the greater Tampa bay area and beyond. In 1971, as a visionary, he purchased and with his sons developed Tampa Central Park, on a 400 acre parcel at Hwy. 301 and 60 which has now become a vibrant part of the Tampa/Brandon landscape. In the 1980’s, he founded Fort Brooke Bank where he was Chairman. He continued in the construction business and real estate development with his son, Jim, and assisted with his son, Earl, Jr., in the formation of Doorcraft, a landmark distributor of commercial and residential doors and hardware. Throughout his long life, he was an active member of First United Methodist Church and as Trustee and Chairman of the Finance and Building Committees he helped establish Methodist Place. Especially dear to his heart was his time spent as president of Jesuit High School Foundation, where he was instrumental in Jesuit’s move to the Himes Ave. campus. He kept an active hand in real estate development into his late 90’s. He enjoyed his affiliations in the Downtown Kiwanis Club, The University Club of Tampa, Tampa Yacht and Country Club, Escot, and Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, where he enjoyed years of golf with his many golfing friends. A Funeral Service will take place on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 10:00 A.M. at St. Anthony’s Chapel on the campus of Jesuit High School. Interment will follow at Myrtle Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Abigail House or a charity of your choice.
Source: TBO.com on July 2, 2014