Oxford loses 'A wonderful, caring, and giving human being'
● By Steven Hoffman
John H. Ware IV, a philanthropist and public servant whose generosity to the Oxford community was great, has passed away at the age of 73.
During his lifetime, Ware offered financial support—estimated to be in the millions of dollars—to organizations in the Oxford area that were close to his heart. Most of these contributions were made anonymously.
He was a friend and supporter of many of the organizations that helped to improve the lives of the people of Oxford, including the Neighborhood Services Center, the Oxford Area Senior Center, the Jennersville YMCA, the Oxford Public Library, Oxford Mainstreet, Inc., the Lighthouse Youth Center, The Sacred Heart School, the Oxford Educational Foundation, and the fire company in Oxford.
“He was a wonderful, caring, and giving human being,” said Jim McLeod, his longtime friend. “He cared about people who needed help. His heart was in the Oxford area. He lived here and he believed in Oxford.”
“We're all just very saddened by his death,” said Oxford Borough Manager Betsy Brantner. “He was a kind and generous person who was willing to help anyone for any reason.”
Ware was also a public servant, dedicating his energies to serving on the boards of various organizations in the Oxford area. He was a member of Oxford Borough Council, starting in 1992, for a total of 16 years, including six years when he was council president. He gave generously to the borough and its police department.
Brantner said that when she was hired as the first female borough manager in Oxford history, Ware was always very supportive and willing to share his knowledge and help out in any way possible.
“He was always encouraging us to be the best community that we could be,” said Brantner. “He was an example of how to love and support a community.”
The Ware family has had a prominent place in the Oxford community for decades. Ware's father, John Haines Ware III, was a successful businessman and politician who served as an executive with American Water and the Oxford Gas Company. He served in the Pennsylvania State Senate for nine years and in the U.S. Congress from 1970 to 1975. John H. Ware IV continued this legacy of public service and focused his energies on Oxford.
“My father's love for the Oxford community ran very deep and he taught that to his children,” said his daughter, Nancy Ware Sapp. “We were always taught to give back to the community that we live in. My father was a friend to everyone. He was the most generous man that I ever knew.”
Brantner said that through the philanthropy and his work to support many Oxford organizations, Ware built a lasting legacy in the town that he loved.
“His thoughts were always for the Oxford community,” Brantner explained. “I can't say enough about the legacy that he leaves. Those things will live on, which means that he will live on.”