Joseph Murray Ware’52 passed away at home on February 1. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on April 4, 1931, Joe graduated from Deshler High School in Tuscumbia and then received a degree in economics from Dartmouth, where he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He was also a member of Green Key Society, circulation manager for The Dartmouth and a member of the Dartmouth Christian Union. He completed postgraduate work at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. Joe served for two years as an officer and fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, before returning to Tuscumbia to take over the family business as president of Ware Cotton Storage & Manufacturing Co. Inc. and affiliated companies. Joe also was a banker, serving as a director and then president of the First Colbert National Bank and, after a merger, Bank Independent from 1973 until he retired in 1996. Throughout his life, Joe had numerous civic affiliations as well as being an active member of his church. His commitment to the community was wide and deep, reflecting his lifelong residence in northwest Alabama. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Lucy, daughter Virginia and son Joseph Jr. Joe is survived by daughters Sarah and Susan and her husband, Lee, and four grandchildren.
MUSCLE SHOALS — Joseph Murray Ware, beloved father and grandfather, died at home on February 1, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Lucy Gilbert Ingram Ware; daughter, Virginia Pride Ware Gilluly; and son, Joseph Murray Ware, Jr.
Born at home in Tuscumbia on April 4, 1931, Joe was raised and schooled in Tuscumbia.
He received a degree in Business Administration and Economics from Dartmouth College where he was president of SAE fraternity. He completed post graduate work at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking.
Joe served as an officer in the United States Air Force, spending a two-year tour of duty in Europe as a fighter pilot. He returned to Tuscumbia and took over the family business as President of Ware Cotton Storage & Manufacturing Company, Inc. and Vice-President of Consumers Bagging and Tie Company, Inc. Ware served on the Board of Directors of First Colbert National Bank from 1996 to 1973 when he was named President. At that time, the bank had three offices in Colbert County. Under Ware’s leadership, Bank Independent grew to ten offices serving both Lauderdale and Colbert counties. He remained President until his retirement in 1996, leaving a strong and lasting legacy on the future of the bank.
Throughout his life, Joe had numerous civic affiliations which included service as chairman of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, member of the Board of Directors of Muscle Shoals Chamber of Commerce, member of Tuscumbia Kiwanis Club and Exchange Club, Board Member of the Northwest Alabama Rehabilitation Center, finance chairman of the Tennessee Valley Girl Scout Counsel, and Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 49 in Tuscumbia.
Joe was chairman of the Regional Library Board when the Shoals had a regional system. He orchestrated the Book Mobile which traveled to all communities in Colbert and Lauderdale County and provided a regional book check-out system.
Joe was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Florence and also served on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Alabama. He was a Vestryman, Church School teacher, Senior Warden, chorister, and a member of the Board of Trustees.
As chairman of the Kennedy-Douglass Trust at its inception, Ware was instrumental in the formation of the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence and in hiring the first director, Barbara Broach. He was remained chairman of the Trust for 30 years.
Joe loved swimming, boating, and driving the ski boat on Wilson Lake with family and friends, his tennis group in mid-life, and later his golf group. Other interests included Shoals Master Gardeners and Men’s Garden Club. He served a term as a member of the Board of Governors of Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club.
Joe is survived by his daughters, Sarah Lee Ware, Susan Ware Henderson and her husband, Lee; grandchildren, Kathleen Ware Henderson, Andrea Gilbert Henderson Walding (Miles), David Murray Gilluly, and Sean Michael Gilluly; sister, Virginia Blackburn; and a host of family and friends.
The funeral service will be Sunday, February 4, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, with burial to follow at Oakwood Cemetery. There will be no visitation.
Source: TimesDaily (Florence, AL) – Sunday, February 4, 2018