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Mary Ware

Mary Glasgow Chiles Ware

Mary Glasgow Chiles Ware was born on July 3, 1940 in Sanford, North Carolina, and died October 26, 2023 in Darien, Georgia.

Mary spent her early childhood in Beaufort, South Carolina, and Miami, Florida, while her father George, a surgeon with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. After the war, the family returned to Sanford, where little Mary attended St. Clair Elementary and Sanford Central High School.

Mary loved her parents George and Mary and her brother Robert dearly throughout her life. She enjoyed riding her pony Jill as a child, then cheerleading and playing basketball for Sanford Central. Mary was a Terpsichorean Society debutante.

After graduation from high school, Mary attended St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and then matriculated to Pan American Business School in Richmond, Virginia. She then moved to Atlanta and caught the eye of Henry Hall Ware III, a promising young attorney with King & Spalding and one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors, and the rest was history. Hall claims he never asked Mary for her hand in marriage, that she simply started planning the wedding. While this narrative aligns with Mary’s no-nonsense temperament, it is clear that Hall was truly smitten with her. The couple wed on June 6, 1964, a date that Hall said he would never forget because it coincided with the anniversary of D-Day. The couple was married for 59 years.

In 1966, Mary and Hall had their first child, Georgia, followed by Mary (Molly) in 1969, Virginia (Ginny) in 1970 and Henrietta in 1975.

Mary, Hall, their four girls and a stream of Labrador Retrievers (including a few litters of unexpected puppies) lived for many years in Atlanta. The girls attended The Lovett School, where Mary was an active parent, chaperoning field trips and regularly attending the girls’ soccer games. She could often be heard screaming, “Not the teeth!” when one of her daughters was near a flying soccer ball.

Mary’s petite stature, flawless style and coiffed blonde hair belied a formidable presence. Mary got things done, and she did them gracefully, with fire engine red nails, a wry smile and a trail of Chanel No. 5 in her wake. She loved to travel, bravely taking the train from Helsinki to Leningrad before the breakup of the Soviet Union. Many, if not all of those who attended one of Mary’s legendary fetes can still smell the crisp, warm cheese pennies and savor the libations that freely flowed.

Mary’s talent for cooking and entertaining was truly remarkable. Hall’s thinly disguised presence as Santa Claus at Mary’s annual Christmas luncheon elicited squeals of glee from children and adults who attended. Her home at 100 Inman Circle was filled with distinct markers of taste and joie de vivre, the ambient soundtrack of clinking glasses and pealing laughter on automatic replay. Mary enjoyed hosting her neighbors and grandchildren in Darien, Georgia, where she and Hall moved in 2008. She was an active volunteer and parishioner at Darien’s St. Andrew’s / St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church.

Mary brought joy to countless people with her sharp wit, effortless charm and unforgettable parties. As one friend recently put it, “Mary said it the way it was, and it was the way she said it.” The confidence she carried in her small frame made it all look easy. Mary taught her daughters that they could be anything they wanted to be, and that a strong personality is an asset. She will be sorely missed and never forgotten.

Mary is survived by her loving husband Hall; her four daughters and sons in-law; ten grandchildren, one niece and two nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 20, at St. Cyprian’s Church in Darien, Georgia. Reception to follow at Oaks on the River in Darien.

(Family-placed obituary)