Roland G. Ware, Jr. ’54 died on January 27, 2021 in Portland, Maine.
(The following was published by Maine Sunday Telegram on February 7, 2021)
Dr. Roland G. Ware, Jr. M.D., 88, passed away at home January 27, 2021. The son of Roland G. Ware, Sr. and Iva M. Ware, he was born April 12, 1932, at the original Maine General Hospital which later became the Maine Medical Center. He grew up in Rockland where he was a member of the Sea Scouts. Stated “Most likely to succeed” with the “Mental ability of,” Roland was an avid athlete who became the State of Maine basketball foul-shooting champion. He graduated as salutatorian of Rockland High School in 1950. Awarded the Meserve Prize in Chemistry, elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year and a James Bowdoin scholar at Bowdoin College, Dr. Ware graduated summa cum laude in 1954. A graduate from McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1958, he shared first place in his class at the end of the first year and was bestowed the Presidential Medical Fraternity award. Dr. Ware practiced internal medicine at Montreal General Hospital then served as chief medical officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the federal prison in Milan, MI. In 1961, he married the love of his life, Norma Leinonen. Dr. Ware was accepted as a radiology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital where he trained before joining the staff. Following a year at the Hammersmith Hospital and Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London, England, in 1968, he returned to Portland to establish the subspecialty of Abdominal Peripheral Angiography for diagnostic angiogram and selective chemotherapy infusions at Maine Medical Center; a first for the radiology department. As a former radiologist and close friend said, “Dr. Ware was a highly respected diagnostic radiologist at Maine Medical Center and the Spectrum Radiology Group. His colleagues were frequently astounded by his sometimes seemingly mystical powers of observation in evaluating radiologic studies and making important diagnoses, sometimes retrospectively. Over the years, he was a highly regarded teacher and mentor for countless radiology residents and technologists. Dr. Ware was a radiologist’s radiologist. At the same time, he was a highly entertaining raconteur of humorous tales from his Maine upbringing as well as his world experiences. He will be missed by his former colleagues and friends.” Roland possessed genuine knowledge, appreciation, respect and love of nature which he imparted to many. He was a constant educator, teacher and mentor. An expert in bird identification and gardening, he was inspired by family mentors to perfect the art of grafting apple trees. “He could bring a sick apple tree back to life but heaven forbid if an apple was ever improperly plucked from the tree!” A self-taught carpenter, Roland also built a number of log cabins from hand-hewn and notched out logs, a process inspired by family mentors. He was an avid fly fisherman who tied his own flies and took pride in teaching this art to those he deemed privileged to learn his secrets. A vast and remarkable impression has been left on all who knew Roland whether in his company walking through the Maine woods or quietly fishing on the pristine waters of Pierce Pond; and those privileged to join him “had to know how to carry water!”. Roland’s motto at the age of 18 was his life lived: “Knowledge is like timber, it should not be used until it is seasoned.” Dr. Ware was predeceased by his parents; and sister, Mary J. Waterman. He is survived by his ‘dear sweet’ wife, Norma; brother, John Ware Sr.; sister, Anna M. Ware; nine nieces and nephews; eight great-nieces and nephews; several cousins; very special friends and neighbors. The family expresses sincere gratitude and appreciation to the staff of Maine Medical Center, The Cedars, Home Instead Senior Care of Gorham, Aging Excellence and Northern Lights Home Care and Hospice of Portland for their professional commitment and dedication in the quality care provided for Roland while always keeping Norma close at heart.