Watonga woman's local ties endure

50 years of service to her job is only part of Doris Ware’s contributions to her community. Ware, who now works part time, began working with the Watonga Public Schools district in February 1964.
by Bryan Painter Modified: March 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm •  Published: March 9, 2014

There’s no hesitation.

No time taken to think it over or to suddenly come up with something else to do.

Through the years when anyone has asked Doris Ware for help, she’s promptly given one of two replies, “Yes,” or “What time do you need me there?”

Ware, 76, is semi-retired but she still works three days a week with Watonga Public Schools.

The catch is that she’s been working in the district since February 1964.

At that time, the secretary job with Watonga Schools became available. Her late husband Jack Ware was then employed by Watonga Schools as the boys and girls basketball coach. Jack later became junior high principal then high school principal before he retired. He died in 2000 and Doris semi-retired in 2004-05.

When Doris Ware started working at the school, she was responsible for all financial records, including purchasing, paying the bills, running payroll, activity funds and personnel records.

Now, there are other staff members who have these responsibilities.

Ware said, “I still do most of the purchasing for the school, pay invoices and I am the encumbrance clerk for the school.”

Some things have not changed, such as a school’s connection to the community.

“Public schools play a very important role in today’s society,” she said, “not only educating our young people, but also encouraging them to become productive citizens in the community.”


Ware, the youngest of four children, was born on a farm 41/2 miles southeast of Watonga that her great-grandfather homesteaded in 1892. Her father, Olen “Dutch” Powers, was a farmer and her mother, Virgie Baird Powers, was a homemaker.

“It was a typical farm life, we raised chickens, pigs, milked cows and raised a big garden and everyone worked together taking care of all the chores,” Ware said. “I attended a rural one-room school first through seventh grade, walked 2 miles to and from everyday unless the weather was bad, before coming to Watonga Schools.”

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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