Gardening 06

Betty “Dolly” Ware

November 27, 1937 ~ November 19, 2022 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Betty “Dolly” Ware Obituary


On Saturday, November 19, 2022, Mrs. Betty “Dolly” Taylor Ware entered eternal rest. She was born November 27, 1937 in Spartanburg, SC to the late Hugh Zackary Taylor and the late Maude Gregory Taylor. She attended Spartanburg High SchoolAs a child she was a member of Bethel United Methodist. She was the wife of Mr. Dean Ware.  

When Dolly was a teenager she discovered her passion for all things math while working in a local department store. As a young women she work numerous jobs, working as a department store clerk; a courier at the US Navy Base in Coronado, California. Perhaps the most physically demanding job she had was working as a residential-insulation-installer, were she’d crawl under houses and install floor insulation. She was part owner of the company. Later in life, putting her math skills to use she went to work for Andrews Bearing in the Accounts/Payroll Department and later work for over ten years at the Tax Assessors Office for Spartanburg County. She retired as a Record-Keeper for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.

Dolly’s first husband, John Thomas Fowler Sr. was from Spartanburg. They had three children, John Jr., Gregory and Cynthia. Her second husband was Robert Bobby Smith of Spartanburg. They had one son, Zack. She married Dean Ware in 1982. 

She was vibrant, honest to a fault, fiercely independent and always spoke her mind. Her children always joked about her whimsical “sharp tongue”.  

Dolly would want to be remembered for her love of gardening. Being outside covered in dirt with a watering hose in one hand and a spade in the other was her world. She grew vegetables and flowers. Spending time with her in the garden was magical. That’s where you’d get the best advice and stories. “After you sow your turnips seeds you need to step-on-them, that’ll mash them in, they’ll come up faster”, she’d say. Cooking was another passion. She loved to experiment with recipes. Food cooked from the garden was her ultimate pleasure. 

Dolly loved music, especially singing. During the 60’s she and her second husbandwould sing country and folk songs at private get-togethers and house parties. She loved the old songs. She loved to tell the story about the time she and her cousin Vicky went to the beach and entertained singing folk songs to a admiring crowd on the beach. Later in life she played the dulcimer and once attended the John C. Campbell Folk School were she said, “They all thought I had a wonderful voice”.  

During her life she experienced good times as well as hard times. She never dwelled on the hard times; she was always ready to turn the next page. As true gardner, there’s always another season. As she aged, simple things became physically hard, especiallynear the end. She never gave up, always trying to better herself. Her beautiful life will always be remembered as the vibrant-strong-willed women she was. She’ll always be loved. 

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, John T. Fowler, Jr., of Boiling Springs, SC, Gregory B. Fowler (Robby) of Portland, OR., Cynthia Stacey (Bob) of Powell, TN, and Robert Zachery Smith (Aimee) of Lincolnton, NC; grandchildren, Robert Zachary, Jr., Cassie, Taylor, and Beth, and; three great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Mrs. Ware was preceded in death by her sisters, Frances Allen and Ruby Faye Taylor, and her grandson, Shaun Stacey.


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