Kathryn (Kathy) Ware Harris of Falmouth, Me. died peacefully on Nov. 4 after a short cancer recurrence. She was 77.

She was born on July 17, 1945 in Orange, N.J. to John Herbert Ware Jr. and Jane Dickie Ware.

Kathy proved that it is not how you start but how you finish. She failed out of her first attempt at college, before graduating from Parsons College. Later in life she went back to school and received a degree in respiratory therapy from Northwestern University Medical School. She went on to lead respiratory care teams at Loyola University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. She was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an associate in anesthesia in recognition of her research and leadership in the field.

She was fortunate to land at Maine Medical Center where she worked for 22 years. For 10 years she served as the administrative director of pulmonary medicine. She drove to Boston multiple nights a week to complete her master’s degree in public health at Boston University. She played a critical role in making Maine Medical Center a smoke-free campus. She concluded her career as the trauma program manager and led Maine Medical Center to achieve its first Level One Trauma Center certification.

She had a lifelong connection to Martha’s Vineyard where she enjoyed spending time with family and friends and being on the ocean. She was a loving mother to her daughter Amy and a wonderful grandmother to her cherished granddaughters Avery and Elliott, who knew her affectionately as “KK.”

She brought great enthusiasm to life and her adventurous spirit was well known to those who knew her. She was a prolific reader and loved to both give and get book recommendations. She was a photographer who brought great joy to people with the gift of her images. She was a sailor on the women’s crew at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. She enjoyed windsurfing so much as to brave the Charles River while living in Boston, and later added kayaking and paddle boarding to her love of water sports. She was a runner and ran her favorite road race, the Beach to Beacon, ten times.

She loved music and was a ukulele enthusiast who was active in the Portland ukulele scene. She had a great love of sneakers that was born from her limited choice of white, red or blue Keds as a child. A friend bought a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers for her at a time when that broke social norms and these formed the beginning of her formidable sneaker collection.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Dempsey Center at dempseycenter.org. She would love her memory to be honored by wearing a pair of your favorite sneakers or playing a song on the ukulele and thinking of your own special times with her.

A celebration of life will be held on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at HopeGateWay Church in Portland, Me.