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Charles "Reuel" Ware, longtime owner of Reuel's Art & Frame and civic activist in downtown Salt Lake City, died Monday after a 24-year battle with cancer.

Dorothy Ware said her husband passed away early Monday at age 82.

"He died with a smile on his face," she said.

Ware was born to Charles M. and Beatrice Ware in Salt Lake City on Sept. 8, 1932. He graduated from East High School and the University of Utah.

He married Dorothy Midgley in 1954 and then served in the Air Force until 1958.

In 1961, the couple bought Photo Blue Co., a blueprint shop at 102 E. 200 South that had been started by Ware's father.

They later purchased the Lewis Stages bus garage at 370 S. West Temple, remodeled and settled in for 35 years selling art, architecture and engineering supplies, as well as picture framing.

Two years ago, they sold the property and moved the store to 242 E. 300 South. They also have a store in Holladay and a warehouse from which they ship products around the western U.S., as well as a website from which they sell supplies.

Reuel Ware was a member of the Downtown Retail Merchants, serving as president from 1986-87. He was a member of the Salt Lake Chamber's Salt Shakers for 20 years, served on Mayor Palmer DePaulis' downtown advisory committee as well as the board of the Downtown Alliance and he was elected to a term as chairman of the Central Business Improvement District.

"He was a doer from high school on and anything he got involved in, anything having to do with downtown, he was right out front," said Dorothy Ware.

Reuel served a term as president of the Salt Lake Kiwanis Club, helped found the Jackson Boys and Girls Club and also was on the board of the International Art Materials Trade Association.

He also was a big Utah football fan and served on the University Fine Arts Advisory Board and was a member of the President's Club and Founder's Club.

Ware contracted cancer 24 years ago and the couple began to reduce their role in the operation of their business, Dorothy Ware said. They eventually bought a home in Arizona to be near the Mayo Clinic so he could receive treatments.

Ware is survived by his three children and eight grandchildren. Services are set for 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Cottonwood Country Club, which the family joined in 1968.

The family requested donations in his honor to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Inspiration Hospice or the Assistance League of Salt Lake City.