Wlhelmina Ware and her husband, Thomas, have always been very ambitious. Their motivation has led them to very successful careers and their perseverance and love for each other has also helped them during tough times. They are two very inspirational people.
As a member of the Boy Scouts during his youth, Thomas Ware was quite active in his community. He and Wilhelmina met each other, as students, at Browne Junior High School in the Carver Langston community of Northeast DC. They went separate ways for high school, he at Armstrong High School and she at Cardozo, where she involved herself in the cadet program. They began dating when they were both students at Minor Teacher’s College.
They were married, in October 1951, while Mr. Ware was serving in the Army. One year after their marriage, Mr. Ware received an honorable discharge from the military and began to work for the Secretary of the Navy while Mrs. Ware worked for the National Security Agency (NSA). They had two sons, Dexter (b. January 1954) and Kevin (b. May 1958). Sadly though both of their sons died of cystic fibrosis at a young age.
Wilhelmina’s earlier work at the Census Bureau (1948), where she developed her keypunch operating skills, enabled her to excel at the (NSA). By 1952 she was promoted to the supervisory level. In 1957 she was selected to develop and teach a twelve-week full-time keypunch course at NSA. This activity lasted until 1962. In 1963 she was selected to develop a training program in computer operations, which she administered until 1977 at which time she was appointed as NSA’s Chief of Learning Centers.
During her career at NSA, she was blessed to develop special constituency training programs for the hearing impaired (1959) and test relaxation techniques for the learning centers (1970). In 1987 she received the Instructional Support of the Year award, which was a first for her race.
Thomas continued working at the Navy Department until 1954 at which time he began working with DC Department of Corrections as a correctional officer. In 1961 he began a career with the Washington Terminal Company as a mail handler until 1966 at which time he became a railroad policeman. In 1972 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant. In 1973 he acquired the position of hearing officer and maintained that position with the newly formed AMTRAK until his retirement. He heard more than 3000 cases during his career. In 1985, he developed and taught a course on listening techniques to AMTRAK employees, including other hearing officers.
After several decades of working tirelessly the Wares retired in the early 90’s. He officially retired on April 2, 1991 and she on May 1, 1993. Looking back they have lived very full, rich lives and thankfully have always had each other to depend on. The Wares have always enjoying going out together and traveling. One of their favorite hangouts is Takoma Station, a DC jazz club. Their journeys have taken them around the world.
One of their most memorable trips was to Senegal and Ghana. They also remember quite fondly going to an art festival in Italy. They have developed a tradition of traveling somewhere at least once a month. Retiring from AMTRAK has its advantages.