Margaret Taylor Ware  43-W-6


Margaret Taylor Ware, 91, a pilot during World War II and a Washington area community activist in the 1950s and 1960s, died Nov. 22 at Laurel Regional Hospital of infection and renal failure. A longtime resident of Bethesda, where she and her husband built their house from a Sears, Roebuck and Co. kit, she had lived at Riderwood Retirement Community since 2003.

Mrs. Ware was born in Manlius, N.Y., and grew up in several Connecticut and Massachusetts towns before graduating from a private boarding school in Wellesley, Mass. She received an undergraduate degree in 1938 and a master's degree in hygiene and physical education in 1939, both from Wellesley College.

She taught for a year at Western College for Women in Miami, Ohio, and then taught swimming at the YWCA in Boston. When World War II broke out, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Ferry Service (WAFS), which became the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). One of 1,074 women who completed the training program and received their wings, she transported planes from factories to various bases across the United States. She was qualified to fly 14 types of civilian and military planes.

When male pilots came home from the war, there was no more work for Mrs. Ware and her fellow female pilots, although she continued flying on her own. She taught physical education at George Washington University and then became assistant executive secretary at the National Urban League. She also worked with Neighbors Inc., whose purpose was to stabilize racially changing neighborhoods in the Washington area, and with Montgomery County's anti-poverty program.

A relative described her as a "social crusader" and her church, River Road Unitarian Church, as "her moral sanctuary." She was a member of the congregation's social justice council and peace committee and volunteered for more than a decade with Common Cause.



She and her husband were avid sailors of multi-hull boats and competed in races organized by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association.

Her husband, Robert W. Ware, died four days before her.

There are no immediate survivors.