Obituary: Kathryn "Kathy" (Ware) Harris

Obituary: Kathryn “Kathy” (Ware) Harris

Kathryn “Kathy” (Ware) Harris

FALMOUTH – Kathryn “Kathy” (Ware) Harris, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on Friday, November 4, 2022 at the age of 77 after a brief recurrence of cancer.

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

After graduating from Chatham High School, Kathy proved that it’s not how you start, it’s how you end. She failed 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 a daughter, Amy, she returned to school and earned a degree in Respiratory Therapy from Northwestern University Medical School. She then led 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 a Fellow in Anesthesia in recognition of her research, publications, and leadership in the field.

She was drawn to Maine and was lucky enough to land at Maine Medical Center where she worked for 22 years. For the first 10 years, she held the position of Administrative Director of Pulmonary Medicine. She was very involved in the health world and traveled to Boston several nights a week to complete her Masters in Public Health at Boston University and graduate with honors, an experience she treasured. She was instrumental in making Maine Medical Center a smoke-free campus. She concluded her career at Maine Medical Center as a Trauma Program Manager and was instrumental in Maine Medical Center obtaining 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 enjoyed both giving and receiving book recommendations. She was a photographer who brought great joy to people with the gift of her images.

She was a sailor who was part of the female crew of the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. She loved windsurfing so much that she dared to go windsurfing on the Charles River while living in Boston, Massachusetts in the 80s, and later added kayaking and paddleboarding to his love of water sports. She was a runner and ran her favorite road race, the Beach to Beacon, 10 times. She loved music and was a ukulele enthusiast who was active in the Portland ukulele scene. She had a great love for sneakers which grew out of her limited choice of white, red or blue Keds as a child. A friend bought him a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers at a time when it broke social norms and these formed the start of his formidable sneaker collection.

She had a lifelong 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 darling granddaughters Avery and Elliott, who affectionately knew her as “KK”. She made frequent visits to their homes across town with her prized Emerson cavapoo which she considered a gift from the universe.

Kathryn coped with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with immense grace. She was grateful for a long remission that created more memories with her family and friends. As an active participant in the cancer community, she has made many very special friends through the Dempsey Center. She viewed these friends and community as the silver lining of Cancer.

She was predeceased by her mother and father, John H. Ware Jr. and Jane Dickie Ware; and his brother, David Taylor Ware.

She is survived by her daughter, Amy, her son-in-law, Jeff; his granddaughters Avery and Elliott; his brother, Peter, his wife, Diane; his nephew, Jared, his wife Jenn, their two boys, Harlem and Davis; her former husband, James Harris; and her beloved dog, Emerson.

She would like her memory to be honored by wearing a pair of your favorite sneakers or playing a song on the ukulele and thinking about your own special times with her.

A celebration of life will be held on December 11 at 2 p.m. at HopeGateWay Church located at 509 Forest Ave. in Portland.

To share memories of Kathryn or to leave condolences for the family online, please visit

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the

Dempsey Center

in his honour.

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