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Dorris Vough Johnston Ware

Dorris Vough Johnston Ware

09/04/21 - 06/21/14

Services for Dorris Ware, 92, of Natchez, Mississippi, who died at her residence on June 21 surrounded by loved ones, will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 2 pm, Tuesday, June 24, with Reverend Walton Jones officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. Tuesday until time of service at the church.

Mrs. Ware was born September 4, 1921, in Woodworth, Louisiana, the daughter of Sherman Hicks and Willie Geneva Dyre' Johnston. She spent her younger years in the town of Sieper, Louisiana, and was a graduate of Boyce High School in 1937. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics from Louisiana Tech in 1941. It was there that she was elected to Sigma Tau Delta, a national honorary fraternity for students who achieve distinction in English or in literary composition. This was the beginning of her lifetime interest in creative writing. She also was president of Kappa Alpha Zeta which later became a chapter of Phi Mu Sorority.

After teaching at Friendship High School in North Louisiana, she entered the School of Medical Technology at St. Thomas Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for her year of clinical study. After graduation, she served as a member of the Army of the United States, 72nd WAC Hospital Company, assigned to a research unit in tropical diseases until the end of World War II. Upon her discharge she was married to Rev. Ralph Wendell Kelley, a former army chaplain, and lived in New Orleans for over 40 years. It was there that she earned a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and was elected to Beta Epsilon Upsilon honorary scholastic fraternity. She retired from the Pathology Department of Southern Baptist Hospital in 1986 after 30 years of service. She held the position of Chief Administrative Technologist and Director of the School of Medical Technology. She held faculty appointments to both Loyola University and L.S.U. Medical Center as Clinical Instructor.

Mrs. Ware was an active member of the American Society of Medical Technologists over the years, serving as president of both the New Orleans and Louisiana chapters. As editor of the state journal for eight years, she received numerous awards in national competition. In 1971 her state members honored her as "Outstanding Med Tech of the Year." In 1979 she was honored as Honorary Citizen of New Orleans by the mayor, including keys to the city and a certificate of merit for outstanding service as a medical educator.

During later years Dorris returned to her interest in art and needlework. She was a member of the Louisiana Craft Council and was accomplished in needlepoint. She shared her talents in designing and completing projects for her Episcopal churches, both in New Orleans and Natchez. She was known for her water colors and studied under Mike Welcom at the Magazine School of Art in New Orleans for several years. After her marriage to James Francis Ware, a former classmate, she moved to Natchez and became active in church and community organizations.

For over 50 years she was an active member of the Episcopal faith, serving as member of the choir, Altar Guild, Bishop's Needlework Guild, Women's Board, and Vestry. In later years, she transferred to the First Presbyterian Church in Natchez to work more closely with her husband on church projects, but following his death, she returned to the Episcopal Church.

She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Natchez Chapter #75, Natchez Garden Club, Natchez, Historic Trust, a charter member of the Natchez Opera Guild, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, National Trust for Historic Preservation. .American Vets and The American Needlepoint Guild.

She was preceded in death by her first husband Ralph Wendell Kelley. her second husband James Francis Ware, her parents, a sister Elaine Johnston Ellzey and her husband Wesley Paul Ellzey, a nephew Paul Roger Ellzey, and a step-grandson Nicholas Ware.

Survivors include nephews Michael Ellzey and wife Tina and children Ryan and Laurel of Tucson. AZ: Randall Ellzey and wife Kris and children Karen and Jonathan of Miami, FL; Stephen Ellzey and sons Colin and Wesley of Pineville. LA; step-daughter Linda Ware Schooler and husband Rich of Tempe, AZ; step-son Edward Ware and wife Terre of Mountain Home, AR: step-grandson Pittman Ware and wife Brooke of Little Rock, AR; and numerous cousins.

Pall bearers will be Judge Maurice Hicks, John Holyoak, Jim Partington, Travis Hicks, Pittman Ware and Stephen Ellzey. Honorary pall bearers are William Seyfarth, Dr. George T. Bates, Walter Heard, Albert Metcalfe, Dr. Rich Schooler and Ralph B. Shields, III.

The family expresses sincere appreciation to Dr. Kenneth Stubbs, Dr. Patrick Duffy and the staff of Deaconess Hospice for their untiring care and concern during the last months of Mrs. Ware's life.

The family requests that memorials may be made to the Trinity Episcopal Memorial Fund, 305 South Commerce St., Natchez, MS 39120.

When once asked what she found most satisfying about being a Medical Technologist Dorris stated, "Self-fulfillment in belief that because of my existence in my small way, the world may be a bit better for my having lived. As one author stated, The full richness of life lies not alone in material possession, but rather in service and sharing - in charity and sympathy - in pity and mercy - these are the lasting things of life.' I, too, share this philosophy."

Online condolences may be sent to lairdfh.com.



Funeral Home

Laird Funeral Home Chapel - Natchez
408 North Union Street  Natchez , MS 39120
601-442-3636

Published in The Town Talk on June 24, 2014
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