Florida Ware once wrote that “when a dream turns into a seemingly nightmare, keep the faith, it’s just a scare.” To those that knew her, the gentle verse described the way she conquered obstacles and encouraged others to do the same. Mrs. Ware, 79, a Chicago Public Schools teacher for more than 30 years, a published author and a mentor to dozens of friends, died Wednesday, March 22, in her Chatham home. “There was a message of hope in everything she did,” said her daughter, Patricia Owens. “She was gentle but she was a force in people’s lives.” An English teacher and guidance counselor at DuSable High School, Mrs. Ware was known to tame even the most mischievous student with her honesty and soothing demeanor. She brought a love of writing to everyclass, encouraging students to write and think creatively.She wanted students to understand that words could be more powerful than brute force. She retired from teaching in 1986. Around the neighborhood, dozens called her “godmother” and depended on her to make sense of their problems and ease their concerns. Mrs. Ware had such a welcoming disposition that her husband, William, used to say that strangers would meet her on the bus and offer their life story. Born in Ft. Mitchell, Ala., Mrs. Ware graduated from Miles College in Birmingham, Ala., earned a master’s degree in English from Northwestern University and a master’s in education from Chicago Teachers College.Other survivors include a daughter, Patricia Owens; a son, Philip; and two grandsons. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, with services at 11 a.m., in Greater Institutional A.M.E Church, 7800 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago.
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) – March 31, 2000