Added by: Edith Guynes Stanley
B.T. “Tol” Ware II, chairman of Amarillo’s largest and most historic bank, died Monday.
He was 95.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, at Polk Street United Methodist Church.
Dr. J. Burt Palmer and Dr. Winfred Moore will lead the service.
Ware’s grandfather and namesake, Benjamin Taliaferro Ware, purchased Amarillo National Bank in 1908.
It is the largest bank to be 100 percent family owned in the United States, with the fifth generation now working in the bank, according to information from the Ware family.
Texas Monthly magazine named Ware and his sons, Richard and Bill, Bankers of the Century in 1999. Bill Ware died in 2012.
Tol Ware “believed that family ownership had its advantages and was very proud of Amarillo National being the only major bank in Texas with three generations of the family on the active board of directors,” information from the Ware family said. “This tied in with his lifelong belief in the importance of local ownership.”
Tol Ware graduated from Amarillo High School in 1936, according to Amarillo Globe-News files.
He attended the University of Texas where he was president of his fraternity, a member of the Cowboys, and an intramural champion in tennis and baseball, family information said.
Ware entered the U.S. Army in early 1942 and served until the end of World War II, reaching the rank of first lieutenant, Globe-News files said.
“Tol believed in behind the scenes support and delegated decision making in business and charitable activities,” according to a bank statement.
He served on the boards of most of Amarillo’s major charities, and his philanthropic activities covered a wide range, including establishment of the Ware Tower at BSA Hospital, the Ware Living Center at Park Central, the Kid’s Inc. Warehouse headquarters and Tol Ware Park at City Church.
He was named philanthropist of the year in 2004.
Tol Ware’s wife of 68 years, Mary, died in 2011. He is survived by his son Richard and his grandchildren, Anne-Clayton Vroom of Dallas and William, Pat, Benj and W. Tol Ware and Savannah Singleton all of Amarillo. He is also survived by eight great-grandchildren.
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.
Plot: Section 32 Lot 34 Space 2
Source: Amarillo News-Globe, May 12, 2014
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Created by: Edith Guynes Stanley
Record added: May 12, 2014
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