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Kathryn Ware Harris

July 17, 1945 ~ November 4, 2022 (age 77) 77 Years Old


Falmouth, Maine

Falmouth-Kathryn (Kathy) Ware Harris, passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter on Friday, November 4th, 2022 at the age of 77 after a short cancer recurrence.

She was born on July 17, 1945 in Orange, New Jersey to her beloved parents John Herbert Ware Jr. and Jane Dickie Ware and enjoyed her childhood in Chatham, New Jersey with her brothers Peter and David. 

After graduating from Chatham High School, Kathy proved that it is not how you start but how you finish. She failed out of her first attempt at college, before graduating from Parsons College. After marrying her college sweetheart James Harris and starting a family with the birth of daughter Amy, she went back to school and received a degree in Respiratory Therapy from Northwestern University Medical School. She went on to lead respiratory care teams at Loyola University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1989 she was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Associate in Anesthesia in recognition of her research, publications and leadership in the field.

She was drawn to Maine and was fortunate to land at Maine Medical Center where she worked for twenty-two years. For the first ten years she served as the Administrative Director of Pulmonary Medicine.  She was highly engaged in the healthcare world and drove to Boston multiple nights a week to complete her master’s degree in Public Health at Boston University graduating with Honors, an experience she cherished. She played a critical role in making Maine Medical Center a smoke-free campus. She concluded her career at Maine Medical Center as the Trauma Program Manager and was instrumental in Maine Medical Center achieving its first Level 1 Trauma Center certification. 

She brought great enthusiasm to life and her adventurous spirit was well known to those who knew her. She was a prolific reader having read thousands of books in her lifetime. She loved to both give and get book recommendations. She was a photographer who brought great joy to people with the gift of her images. She was a sailor who was on the women’s crew at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. She enjoyed windsurfing so much as to brave windsurfing in the Charles River while living in Boston in the eighties, and later added kayaking and paddleboarding to her love of watersports.  She was a runner and ran her favorite road race, the Beach to Beacon, ten times. She loved music and was a ukulele enthusiast who was active in the Portland ukulele scene. She had a great love of sneakers that was born from her limited choice of white, red or blue Keds as a child. A friend bought a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers for her at a time when that broke social norms and these formed the beginning of her formidable sneaker collection. She had a life-long connection to Martha’s Vineyard where she enjoyed spending time with family and friends and being on the ocean.  She was a loving mother to her beloved child Amy, and a wonderful grandmother to her cherished granddaughters, Avery and Elliott, who knew her affectionately as “KK.” She made frequent visits to their home across town with her treasured cavapoo Emerson whom she considered a gift from the universe.

Kathryn faced a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with a tremendous grace.  She was grateful for a lengthy remission that allowed for more memories to be made with family and friends.  As an active participant in the cancer community, she made many very special friends through the Dempsey Center. She considered these friends and this community to be the silver lining of having cancer.

She is predeceased by her mother and father, John H. Ware Jr. and Jane Dickie Ware and her brother David Taylor Ware. She is survived by her daughter Amy, son-in-law Jeff, her granddaughters Avery and Elliott, her brother Peter, his wife Diane, her nephew Jared, his wife Jenn, their two boys Harlem and Davis, her former husband James Harris and her treasured dog Emerson.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Dempsey Center in her honor. She would love her memory to be honored by wearing a pair of your favorite sneakers or playing on song on the ukulele and thinking of your own special times with her.

A celebration of life will be held on December 11th at 2:00 p.m. at the HopeGateWay Church located at 509 Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine.



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