Mary Helen Ware, 85, a 62 year resident of the Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth area, died Wednesday, June 27, 2007, in Cascade Medical Center. She was born Mary Helen Nelson, in Kent, WA on February 22, 1922, to Hiram H. and Sarah A. (Keenen) Nelson. The family later moved to Seattle, where she grew up and received her education, graduating from West Seattle High School in 1940. She worked as a cook at Blake Island Salmon Bar-B-Q Restaurant. On April 26, 1941, she married John W. Ware, at Seattle and in 1945, they moved to Lake Wenatchee. Mary worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a trail crew cook from 1946 until 1948, building the Pacific Crest Trail. From 1950 to 1959, she was employed by the Stevens Pass Ski Area as head cashier. In 1959, she became head cook for the ski lodge until 1961. Following her husband’s death in 1994, she moved to Leavenworth. Mary was considered one of the “matriarchs” of Lake Wenatchee. Together with her husband, John, they were regarded by many as the expert local historians for the Lake Wenatchee area and they spent countless hours volunteering and leading programs for the Forest Service, State Parks, schools and museums. They were active in several archaeological digs along the Wenatchee River and involved with the Stevens Pass Bygone Byways Project. Mary was a long time friend of the Wenatchee National Forest. She was the proud recipient of the U.S. Forest Service National Volunteer of the Year in 1995. Mary was an avid birder, wonderful gardener and truly an inspiring outdoors woman. John was the first Lake Wenatchee State Park Ranger and the park amphitheatre was dedicated to both, John and Mary. In the fall of 2004, Mary was honored with her own trail in the beautiful Sears Creek area of the White River Valley. The Ware Walk Interpretive Trail was named after Mary and her husband, John. Mary shared memories of visiting the beaver pond there many times throughout their 53 years of marriage. Wildlife viewing, huckleberry picking and sharing special moments with nature, brought this place close to her heart. Mary was a teacher and a friend. Her extended family reached out to all generations and walks of life. Mary was a former member of the Plain Community Church, the N.C.W. Museum and passionately loved her church family at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. She embraced all she knew with love and compassion and made an unforgettable impact on those she touched. Mary confronted adversities with strength and dignity and faced life’s new challenges with vim and vigor. She is survived by her loving pet, Cinnamon; lifetime best friend, Betty Newell; and also special friends, Duane, Corky, Sam and Katie, Jasmine Broaddus and Dave and Patti Leonard of Lake Wenatchee, Pat and Heather Murphy of Leavenworth, Shelly Reiman of Dryden, Karen Arnold of White River, MegAnn and Larry Scharpp of Plain, as well as a large extended family in the Wenatchee Valley. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers; and her husband, John, in the summer of 1994. Mary’s cycle is complete now, she is with the two she loved the most, John and her Savior, Lord Jesus. A Memorial Service of Commemoration to Celebrate the Life of Mary H. Ware, will be conducted at 11:00 o’clock Saturday morning, July 7, 2007, in the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene, with Pastor Jon Vandel officiating. Memorials in her name may be made to the Cascade Medical Center Foundation, P.O. Box 293, Leavenworth, WA 98826. Ward’s Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth, is in charge of the arrangements.
Source: Wenatchee World, The (WA) – Tuesday, July 3, 2007