Father Joseph Ware Dies at 82 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/31/05

Father Joseph Ware Dies at 82

One of Savannah's most beloved men of faith has died. Father Joseph Ware passed away this morning after a long illness. The gentle warmth and wry wit of Father Ware endeared this proud Savannah-born American of Irish descent to any and all who came to know him.

"I was talking about my Uncle Tim," he once said. "He went to his father one day and said, 'Dad, I got half a mind to get married.' He said, 'Go ahead, that's all you need.'"

"He was an amazing fellow," longtime friend Tommy Brunson said. "I promise you when he got to the Pearly Gates, St. Peter had to wait a minute while he told a couple of one-liners."

Father Ware spent most of his priestly life in the Diocese of Atlanta, mostly in LaGrange.

But his friend, Bishop Andrew McDonald, said as soon as he could, he wanted to come back home. "He wrote Archbishop Donahue, 'I have spent 40 years in the desert. I want to return to the Promised Land, that little bit of Ireland, dear old Savannah."

And grand it was in that season of St. Patrick to have Father Ware as Grand Marshal, perhaps the fondest of many precious memories for those who loved him so.

Bishop McDonald prayed an Irish Hymn for his friend of three score years and ten, most appropriate then and now. "Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Visitation for Father Ware will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Thursday from 6pm to 8pm with the vigil service at 7pm that evening.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday afternoon at 2pm. Father Ware will then be laid to rest in the priest's section of Catholic Cemetery.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1948, Father Joseph Ware was 82 years old.

Reported by: Sonny Dixon, sonnyd@wtoc.com

 

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