Wife of former coach, friend passes away

Melissa Eleanor Ware, 42, passed away Nov. 30, 2007. She had been suffering from a long illness at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Zion, Ill.

Ware was born Dec. 9 1964 to John and Susan Thomas. She graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1982 and Truman State (NE Missouri State) in 1987. She served as Sports Information Director at Truman State before moving to Joplin, Mo with her husband, John Ware.

John and Melissa were married on May 16, 1987 and moved to the Joplin area after John was offered the position of head football coach for Missouri Southern.

“I think of Melissa in terms of the support she gave her husband,” said Sallie Beard, athletic director for Southern. “She treated all of the players like they were her own kids, and she had a way of connecting with young people.”John Ware passed away in 2005 from a heart attack.

“I think the thing that struck me about Melissa was the ownership in John’s endeavors and the support she gave him,” Beard said.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at St. Michael the Archangel, in Shrewbury, Mo. For those unable to travel to St. Louis, there will be a memorial service in Joplin at the Crown of Life Chapel on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. Contributions in memory of Melissa may be made to The John and Melissa Ware Memorial Scholarship Fund.