Elgin Willis Ware Jr.

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Dr. Elgin Willis Ware, Jr. Spent eighty-eight years making life better for everyone he knew. He passed away Tuesday, November 20th. Elgin was born February 2, 1924 in Dallas, Texas to Elgin W. Ware Sr. and Winifred Lee Johnson Ware. He delighted in being born on Ground Hog Day. He was baptized at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. He had a brother, John, and a sister, Mary Jane, who pre-decease him. He graduated from Highland Park High School mid-term at age sixteen, and immediately went to SMU where he was a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was in his second year when WWII began. The Navy gave him his medical career. Elgin went to school on the GI Bill. His was the first full class at Southwestern Medical College in Dallas. He did his residency in urology at Parkland, and was one of two Navy medical officers for the state of Oklahoma where he was named an honorary sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He returned to Dallas, and began what was to become a distinguished fifty-year medical career with Baylor Hospital. He was president of the Dallas County Medical Society, a trustee of the Texas Medical Association, president of the American Association of Clinical Urologists, founder and chairman of the History of Medicine Committee and president of the Fifty Year Club of the Texas Medical Association. He was the headliner for the Dallas Press Club's roast in 1977. He married the late Frances Golden in 1946. They raised three children, Bettina Hennessy and Dr. John Ware of Dallas, and Dr. David L. Ware of Galveston. Elgin was passionate about education. He proudly served on the Highland Park School Board for fourteen years. He was vice president for four years. He cherished fellowship, and joined the downtown chapter of The Dallas Rotary Club in 1968. He seldom missed a Wednesday meeting. He was a 32nd degree Mason and member of the Tannahill Lodge Scottish Rite. Elgin met his soul mate, Karen Gay Bailey, in 1981. He once told her, "You taught me how to love." They built a rich life, traveling with their beloved dogs between Dallas, Galveston, and a second home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Elgin was an intensely spiritual man who loved and respected Native Americans and their culture. Elgin was a voracious reader. He loved studying world history, classic literature, biographies and poetry. He had a passion for boats and ships. He was at the wheel for many sailing trips through the Caribbean, Chesapeake Bay and Switzerland. Philanthropy was a hallmark of Elgin and Karen's marriage. They shared a gift for recognizing and fulfilling needs. Elgin continued to serve patients after his retirement. He started a clinic for the homeless in downtown Dallas at First Presbyterian's Stewpot. He served as medical director from 1999 to 2011. The Parkland Homes program continues the service, now known as the Elgin W. and Karen G. Ware Medical Clinic. He had a deep intellect and an intense interest in the intersection of faith and science. He endowed three lecture series, including the Elgin W. Ware Jr., MD, Lectureship in Medical History at Baylor. He's arranged for the Karen G. and Elgin W. Ware Jr. Endowed Lectureship and Fellowship Program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Elgin W. Ware Jr. MD Endowed Lectureship Fund at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation. They began the Karen G. and Elgin W. Ware, Jr. Collection of prints and drawings of the human condition at the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus. A Rembrandt etching of The Circumcision in the Stable of Christ was one of the collection's first pieces. They researched and commissioned the Ware Bell for the Shelton Chapel tower at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. It tolls for weddings, convocations, graduations, and funerals. It will ring in memory of an extraordinary man with a remarkable heart and mind. Elgin loved telling rambling stories, which he called, "rabbit tracks." He kept a well- worn book with a collection of dates and quotes. Its pages are a clear window into Elgin's heart. He wrote, "The real test of class is how you treat people who can't possibly do you any good." He's survived by Karen Bailey Ware, his daughter, Bettina Hennessey (Dan), sons John (Cindy) and David, stepdaughter Stephanie Bishop, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, his Gordon Setter Margaret, and Pomeranians Samson and Delilah. He'll be missed by everyone lucky enough to have seen those twinkling eyes and to have known his deep love. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Monday, November 26th at Sparkman-Hillcrest on Northwest Highway with memorial services on Tuesday, November 27th at 1:00 at The First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, corner of Young and Harwood. Memorials may be sent to The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church and The Parkland Medical Foundation.

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