Friday, June 10, 2011

WASP Emma Coulter Ware, 43-3 May 29, 2011

Emma Coulter Ware

Emma Coulter Ware, 96, died May 29, 2011 in her St. Louis home of 63 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Boyd Ware and is survived by her six children and four grandchildren.

She was born in Greensburg, PA on May 17, 1915 as the only child of Richard Coulter and Matilda Bowman Coulter. *"Both her father and grandfather were generals when generals rode horses instead of jeeps."

She first attended Miss Voegle's School in Greensburg. She graduated from Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and completed her education in New York City at Barnard College. While there she became an avid Gilbert and Sullivan devotee. Her interests were zoology and art history.

World War II was imminent and she joined the civil air patrol after earning her pilot's license. She then graduated in the third class of Woman Air Service Pilots (WASP) in 1943. She served as a ferry pilot of war planes, flew as part of the Tow Target Squadron, and helped test drone airplanes. Emma met her husband while at Biggs Air Force Base in Texas. They married on the last day the WASPs were in service, December 19, 1944. They settled in St. Louis, her husband's hometown.

Emma Coulter and Widget at Biggs Field, 1944
As the result of working with the Frontier Nursing Service in Hayden, Kentucky, she was interested in nursing and natural childbirth and had her third child at home. She gave birth to triplets with the fourth pregnancy. She had lifelong interests in horses, the arts, enviornmental issues, endangered species and travel. Over the years in St. Louis, she raised her family with a menagerie of rescued animals. Besides horses, cats and dogs, she nurtured birds, bats, flying squirrels, wolves, a bear and an albino dingo. She traveled the world for adventure, history, and art as well as in support of her causes to save arctic seals, whales and wolves.

Emma spent time in Buffalo, Wyoming and Aspen, Colorado where she would take her children skiing, hiking, riding and to the music festival. She supported environmental causes such as the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) and she provided housing for teachers, students and opera singers who attended the music festival.
Her volunteer efforts and generous support extended to many associations including The Humane Society, the United States Pony Club, The Wolf Sanctuary in Eureka, The Sheldon Concert Hall and The Opera Theater of St. Louis. She was a member of the Ethical Society.

Emma is survived by her daughters, Nina and Judy Ware of St. Louis, her sons' Richard and James Ware of Maine, daughters Anne Ware of Aspen, Colorado and Wendy Ware-Gleason of Portland, Oregon. Her grandchildren are Judy's children Justin and Margaret Smith and Wendy's children, Christopher and Emily Gleason.


Respectfully reposted by Nancy Parrishwith the addition of quotes, links and photo.
*p. 546 "Sisters in the Sky" by Adela Riek Scharr
Official notification and photos
Tribute page from Andy Hailey

Monday, June 6, 2011

WASP Justine Fletcher Woods, 44-W-7 May 26, 2011

 Justine Fletcher Woods, better known as “Fletchie”, passed away in her sleep at home in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 26.   She spent her life with her best friend and husband of 62 years, Ransom (Bud) B. Woods, Jr., traveling around the world together courtesy of the United States Air Force.

Justine was a Congressional Gold Medal recipient for her service as a Woman Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) during WWII. Of the 25,000 women who applied for this newly developed women's service program, she was one of only 1,074 who graduated.  She flew for the Army Air Force during the last year of the war flying twin-engine UC-78s and AT-6s military planes as a test pilot and training cadets.  The program was disbanded by the end of 1944 and not until 1977 were the women finally given military recognition. In March of 2010 the WASP were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal as the first women in history to fly American military aircraft.

With the disbanding of the W.A.S.P., Justine joined the American Red Cross to drive a 2-ton truck, the Clubmobile, through war-torn Europe taking coffee and donuts to the boys in the fields. This began a long association as a Red Cross volunteer.

Throughout her life she continued to volunteer through the Red Cross as a swimming and a sailing instructor. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Justine was always the tomboy and sport enthusiast, playing golf, tennis, sailing and swimming. She took much pride in her role as a water safety instructor and used this avenue to teach swimming for nearly 50 years with the Red Cross. Justine was also a Red Cross sailing instructor with a group of women called the “Wet Hens” teaching sailing to other military wives while stationed in Hawaii.

Justine received her B.A. from Wells College in Ithaca, New York in 1939 and M.A in education from University of Southern California. She also earned her private and commercial pilots licenses.

Justine married “Bud” right after World War II ended and traveled 30 years with the US Air Force. They moved every three years to new assignments throughout the US and the world. In 1975, upon “Bud's” retirement from the Air Force, they enjoyed life between homes on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, Sun City West, AZ, and Aspen, Colorado, where they had great pleasure snow skiing, golfing, and playing bridge with wonderful friends.

Justine is survived by her son, Ransom (Randy) B. Woods, III and wife, Jeanne; daughter, Lynn Severin and husband, Brian; six grandchildren: Robin Woods Strecker and husband, Peter; Greg F. Woods and wife, Connie; Louis, Baird, and Tyson Severin; Melissa Severin Bruhn and husband, Ray: and, five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be forthcoming at the Snowmass Chapel in Snowmass Village, Colorado at a time to be determined.

Reposted from the Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Links and photo respectfully added by Nancy Parrish