Former Grapevine Mayor Pro Tem Ted Ware, namesake for city plaza and longtime public servant, dies

From left: C. Shane Wilbanks, Darlene Freed, Roy Stewart, William D. Tate, Sharron Spencer, MikenLease and Ted Ware.

From left: C. Shane Wilbanks, Darlene Freed, Roy Stewart, William D. Tate, Sharron Spencer, MikenLease and Ted Ware.

Ted Ware, first elected to serve on Grapevine City Council as mayor pro tem in 1979, died Feb. 27. He was 86.

Ted Ware was born in Grapevine, Texas, and graduated from Grapevine High School, according to an interview with his son Vic Ware.

Ted Ware started the Ware Painting business in Grapevine, where his sons Vic and Trigg Ware work today. Vic Ware said his father taught him what it meant to be a hard worker.

"While being so involved in church and city, he was still the best dad you could ask for," Vic Ware said. "We traveled and camped our whole life, not just a couple times a year. My parents are charter members of Memorial Baptist Church, now The Church at the Cross. My dad taught us how to work, and that’s why we are all successful."

In 1968, Ted Ware became a member of the Grapevine Planning and Zoning Commission, where he served as chair. He worked with the commission for more than 10 years. In 1979, he was elected to serve on Grapevine City Council, where he was chosen to serve as mayor pro tem that same year. Ted Ware retired from council in 2008 after 29 years.

Mayor William D. Tate said Ted Ware served on the planning and zoning commission during a crucial point in Grapevine's growth. Tate said Ted Ware helped lay the blueprint for the city.

"He had a lot of common sense," Tate said. "He always tried to do what was right and fair to everybody; he was very sincere, trustworthy. He was a father figure to a lot of people, and people depended on him."

Following his service on council, Ted Ware focused his efforts on the city's Historic Preservation Commission. He served in this position until 2018. He was charged with repairing the external appearance of the city's oldest homes and structures to help preserve history. Commission Chair Sean Shope said Ted Ware had an ability to say the right thing at the right time.

"He had an unbelievable knack for being able to communicate," he said.

A Facebook post on the city's Facebook page said Ted Ware "will be remembered as an icon in Grapevine." It went on to say Ted Ware was chosen to be honored with the first plaque placed on the city’s Walk of Fame on Main Street in October 2008.

The Ted R. Ware Plaza, located at Church and Hudgins Streets, was also named after Ted Ware in 2013. Tate said this was fitting because of Ware's deep appreciation for history and education in the community.

All Grapevine city flags will be flown at half-staff through Sunday, March 3, in honor of Ted Ware. Current Mayor Pro Tem Darlene Freed said he embodied the portrait of a leader.

"He was a calm person who understood the gift of quiet," she said. "He was a great man and a great spokesman."

Ted Ware is survived by his wife of more than 67 years, Gloria Trigg Ware, their four children, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
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