Dorris Vough Johnston Ware

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sept. 4, 1921 – June 21, 2014

NATCHEZ — Services for Dorris Vough Johnston Ware, 92, of Natchez, who died Saturday, June 21, 2014, at her residence, surrounded by loved ones, will be at 2 p.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Rev. Walton Jones officiating.

Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.06:24 Dorris Ware obitpic

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Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until service time today at the church.

Mrs. Ware was born Sept. 4, 1921, in Woodworth, La., the daughter of Sherman Hicks and Willie Geneva Dyre’ Johnston.

She spent her younger years in the town of Sieper, La., 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 was also 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 graduating, she served as a member of the U.S. Army, 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 the Rev. Ralph Wendell Kelley, a former army chaplain, and lived in New Orleans for more than 40 years.

It was there that she earned a bachelor 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 was chief administrative technologist and director of the School of Medical Technology. She served as clinical instrucor at Loyola University and LSU Medical Center.

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 award in national competition. In 1971, her state members honored her a “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 she 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 more than 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 No. 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.

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

Survivors include her three nephews, Michael Ellzey and wife, Tina, of Tucson, Randall Ellzey and wife, Kris, of Miami, and Stephen Ellzey of Pineville; six nephews and nieces, Ryan and Laurel, of Tucson, Karen and Jonathan, of Miami, and Colin and Wesley, of Pineville; one stepson, Edward Ware and wife, Terre, of Mountain Home, Ark.; one step-daughter, Linda Ware Schooler and husband, Rich, of Tempe, Ariz.; one step-grandson, Pittman Ware and wife, Brooke, of Little Rock; and a number of cousins.

Pallbearers will be Judge Maurice Hicks, John Holyoak, Jim Partington, Travis Hicks, Pittman Ware and Stephen Ellzey.

Honorary pallbearers will be 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 the untiring care and concern during the last months of Mrs. Ware’s life.

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

When once asked what she found most satisfying about being a medical technologist she 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.”

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