When E. James Ware of Paso Robles, California, passed away on February 9, 2021, the world lost a beautiful spirit—born January 25, 1948, the first of two sons to Elois and Lessie (James) Ware in Egypt, Mississippi of Chickasaw County.

 After serving in WWII, Elios moved his little family north to Chicago. From age 5, James would see his family’s home be a stepping stone for his extended family seeking a new life, and he understood what it meant to be the elder brother.

James’ formal education began at Gregory Elementary School and then Mason Elementary School, where he began running track. During 7th and 8th grade, he attended Our Lady of Lourdes School, where he distinguished himself in basketball. Several high schools tried to lure him in, but he chose to attend James G. Farragut and be an Admiral with his friends from the Westside. As a quintessential team player, he was the top scorer his Sophomore year and All-City his senior year 1967 on a team that was ranked in the top two in the nation. Loyola and several Illinois Universities offered him full scholarships.

His first year of college in Seattle, WA, couldn’t have been rougher with the passing of his father. Then to Allen Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA, where he also married and became the devoted father of Kevin and Atonte. While playing ball all the way, he continued his studies in Social Sciences at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA, completing his senior project working for the California Youth Authority. 

At the Boys’ School in Paso Robles, James began a 30 year stretch as a youth correctional counselor. Here he honed the skills of listening, mentoring, counseling, teaching, and mediating, which earned him the nicknames “social worker” and “Jimmy Luv.”

James never met a man he counted as beneath himself; everyone was valuable and deserved respect. And if somebody needed a hand, a word of encouragement, a few dollars, or a smile and a pat on the back, he was your man, as many times as you needed it, because he lived and breathed being the elder brother.

He loved to wear his wing-tipped shoes and fedora hat to church, where he served through the years as a deacon, elder, and servant of God. It was there he met the woman he promised to ‘sleep out in the rain’ for. A consummate gentleman, though, he carried her books, enlisted a chaperone for the first dates, and married her September 2015. When the Lord returns, they will spend eternity together.

James is survived by his beloved wife Joan Ware; brother Alvin Ware and nephew Brian Ware; children Kevin Ware and Atonte Myers; grandchildren Tajean Pierce, Joshua Myers, Breanna Ware, Jaden Allen, Kevin Ware, Jenesis Myers, Jaliyah Myers, Caleb Ware; and one great-grandchild; and a multitude of friends he loved. 

You are invited by his wife Joan Ware, brother Alvin Ware, dear friends Earl Vaughan and Randall Thomas to attend a memorial service to celebrate James’s life as he requested at the Atascadero Lake Bandstand at 11 am April 20, 2021, Atascadero, California. Please bring a lawn chair and face covering and join us under the big oak trees. Donations can be made to: Click Here