James Ware was truly a gift from a loving God, a man whose very life touched and blessed so many for all of his 85 years. The outpouring of love at his passing is a tribute to his unselfish and generous spirit and to the sweetness of his soul. Born in Bonham, Texas on May 28, 1925, James was the second son born to Lena Sanders Ware and John Blocker Ware, a devoted couple who raised their son to work hard, love unselfishly, to explore all the world had to offer and to always be a gentleman. He learned a love for the land and a commitment to family.
In 1972 he married Connie Moore and moved her to the country. They opened Ware Machine and Supply, Inc. and settled into the community. As they built their home they also built a family – four-legged family, that is. As Connie brought “sick, hurt and can’t work” dogs and cats home, James lovingly accepted the critters, cooking and caring for them throughout their lives. As he enjoyed the life he had hoped for, his war-related nightmares still haunted him, leading to abuses that nearly claimed his life.
In 1992, he turned his life and his will over to God, beginning what would turn out to be the hallmark and the mission of his life. From his own travels through the twelve-steps to recovery, he found that his love of people and his unending acceptance of people’s individual quirks and shortcomings, he was able to share his spiritual and practical sensitivities with those whose souls were in need of help and constant assurance. Each night he prayed for those in need, each day he spent his time in conversation with the scores of men who were drawn to his sweet spirit and unending wisdom. A trip back to Iwo Jima in 2008 provided him with a release from many of his nightmares and turned him into a sought-after speaker who would gladly share his wartime experiences with a crowd. He was a Marine to the core, proud of his service, proud of the Marines, a real hero in so many ways and an unabashed patriot. James has an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of life, a great mind and the ability to take any situation and to boil it down to the basics. He never lost his personal or his spiritual compass, always trusting in God and always faithful to his family and his core values. People whose lives had taken a financial downturn received his generosity and love with no expectation of repayment. A Man’s man, the ladies loved “Old Blue Eyes” whose infectious smile and great stories lit up any gathering. He very proudly supported Connie’s activities and thoroughly enjoyed politics, even traveling to Washington, D.C. for a Christmas event in the Bush White House. His health was excellent until the last two months of his life, and he faced cancer with his unfailing courage. His loss leaves his family and friends with a tremendous hole in their lives, but he leaves each one stronger and more able to go on as he would want them to.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Constance Moore Ware; his daughter, Laura Shurtleff and her husband, Bill; his nephew, Jim Ware and his wife, Linda; their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren; former wife, Nedra McGilvray Ware; his nephew, John Ware’s widow, Sue Ann Ware; her children, their spouses and grandchildren; former sisters-in-law, Mary Furrh Cook and Jenny Harlan; his special friends, Stephen Clausen and Chris Neal; and his ill mannered pup “Peaches”. Our hearts are broken; his heart is full and free. He was preceded in death by his parents, J.B. and Lena Ware; his brother, Jack; his nephew, John Ware and many, many great friends.
Those wishing to send memorials may assist in continuing James’ legacy by making donations to the Twelve Way Foundation, P.O. Box 607, Marshall, TX 75671.
Visitation will be held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Thursday, January 20, 2011 at Colonial Chapel of Sullivan Funeral Home. Funeral Service will be held at 2:00pm, Friday, January 21, 2011 at First United Methodist Church of Marshall, Texas with Jerry Clark and Rev. Rodger Garbs officiating. Interment will follow at Blocker Cemetery in Marshall, Texas. Pallbearers will be Rod Watson, Edward Verhalen, Trey Weinberg, Chris Neal, Larry Ford, Jim Holt, Phillip Baldwin, Jr., and Tom Hodges.
Online condolences may be offered at www.sullivan-funeralhome.com.