Monday, April 28, 2008

Bates House Owner Joe Ware Has Died

It is with great sadness and tear filled eyes that I inform you all that a dear friend and fellow Oakland entrepreneur, Joe Ware, passed away over the weekend. Details have not yet been released as to the cause of death but it was health related.

I took this picture of Joe last year during the Oakland International Black LGBT Film Festival and just as this picture suggests, Joe was a peaceful and laid back kind of guy. He was also a consumate host. It was these exact qualities that made his business The Bates House Bed & Breakfast such a hit with locals and visitors from all over the world.

As owner of the Bates House, Joe was the only black gay owner of a Bed & Breakfast hotel in the Bay, and one of maybe two black owned Bed & Breafast businesses in all of the North West.

And when he was healthy...he ran his business with pride, professionalism and class.

Almost all of the early Keeping It Real TV interviews were conducted at The Bates House and Joe always opened his door to special events in support of the LGBT community and the community at large.

Even today, there are not many who are brave enough to be out and gay and run a respectable business in the community. But Joe didn't care and he flew that big gay flag at the top of his business as a beacon, to let us know that without question we were welcome at the Bates House.

I will miss the days conversing with Joe in his beautiful backyard amongst the flowers and the impecably landscaped grounds, with classical music or smooth jazz wafting through the air.

I walked by the Bates House today....the big gay flag is gone....but we will not forget you Joe and all that you have done to help make our community and our city proud.

I love you and miss you and goodbye for now my friend.
Joe soon as I get information about services I will add to this posting.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for informing us about this tragic and very sad news! Wow...Joe Ware will truly be missed as a stellar example (in the LGBT community) of whom we can become, and what we can accomplish...when our hearts and heads are in sinct!
I am comforted by the knowledge that his poignant legacy of elegance, pride and compassion for his peers will definitely live beyond his (much too brief) time with us, here!

Wishing you, Joe's family and loved-ones Peace and Strength...

Sharyn Grayson, Pres./Co-Founder
Alameda Co. TransGender Steering Cmte.

Scott Vickers and Mark Waddell said...

Mr. Hawkins: I was stunned to hear that Joe Ware has died. I just called the Bates House to ask for a reservation and thought I recognized his voice on the answering machine. My partner and I live in Denver, but have stayed with Joe over the years while visiting family in Oakland. He was indeed a very gracious host and splendid ranconteur--it was great to see him at breakfast every morning and talk. We'll miss him very much.

Molly said...

Such sad news for the community. What a loss for Oakland. I was just referring my brother and his boyfriend to stay as his place is in walking distance to my house. I gasped when I saw your blog. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about Joe. I actually knew when I read that this year's Black LGBT film festival was dedicated to him. He was a great supporter of LGBT causes and a fantastic host. He will be dearly missed by myself and others who had the priviledge of knowing him.

Emily Montan, Co-founder SSIP

Donald said...

My wife and I stayed at Bates House last August to celebrate our 27th anniversary. We stayed in the master suite and had a most wonderful time! We wanted to go back for our anniversary this year, and were caught completely off guard to hear of Joe's passing. He was a marvelous host and served us one of the best breakfasts I can recall having, complete with wonderful conversation. What a tremendous loss for our entire Bay Area community. We will always remember him and Bates House most fondly.