Leo Gordon Ware

Leo Ware was among the nearly 500 local men who enlisted in the Great War. He was one of the lucky ones, fortunate to survive the war intact, passing away in Toledo, Ohio, in 1997 at the age of 97. Although his last visit to Port Hope was in the 1950s, he never forgot his hometown, leaving the bulk of his estate - over $85,000 - to various local institutions.

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Leo Ware
The News, Sunday Edition: Jan 1999
Leo Gordon Ware (2327304), one of four children of Richard and Florence Eva (Fletcher), was born 31 July 1899 in Rama, Ontario. The 1901 census shows the family in Port Hope.

Leo’s grandparents, William, a cooper, and Mary, emigrated to Port Hope from Ireland prior to the 1881 census. Their fourth son, Richard, married Florence Fletcher 29 March 1899 in Cobourg.

Richard joined the Port Hope Fire Department in 1891 and served for 39 years. With Jack Record, who succeeded Richard as Chief, he established Ware & Record, a tinsmithing business on John Street.

A dry goods clerk with one year of high school education, Leo enlisted 25 March 1917 in Cobourg. As he was 17, he gave his year of birth as 1898. He arrived in England 05 July 1917, and after training at Shorncliffe, landed in France 13 August 1917, joining his unit a week later. A gunner with the 2nd Canadian Heavy Battery, he received a lumbar contusion in the field at Mons, Belgium, on 05 January 1919. He was discharged 02 April 1919 in Toronto.

At the end of the war, he returned to briefly work with his father at Ware & Record before taking a job as a travelling salesman.

By 1935, Leo had emigrated to the United States, where he married 36-year-old widow Alma Conn (born 11 February 1900:Defiance, Ohio, daughter of Arthur Schutt and Agnes Sawyer and relict of Clyde Mason Conn), 29 August 1936 in Toledo, Ohio. They do not appear to have had children.

Alma passed away 27 December 1995 and Leo, 07 July 1997. Both are interred in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park in Toledo.

In his Will, Leo directed that $85,000, the bulk of his estate, be split between the two schools he attended as a youth, Central Public and Port Hope High, to be used for computer education and/or sports. PHHS apllied its share to the purchase of high-resolution colour printers, cameras, scanners, and video capture cards, and the creation of a weight room and fitness centre, along with improving the climbing wall. Bequests were also made to St. John’s Anglican Church and the Masonic Temple.

Leo is listed among those who enlisted in the Book of Remembrance.

Sources: Ancestry.ca; 23 January, 25 January, & 22 November 1999 issues of the Evening Guide (with photos).

Leo Ware's bequests
Evening Guide: 23 Jan 1999

Leo Ware's bequests
Evening Guide: 22 Nov 1999

Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario