Buried in her own mausoleum in West Laurel Hill, not far from that of her father and mother, William Scott (1867-1934) and Ida Morris (1870-1938) Vare, is the luckless Ida May Vare (1898-1920), who died of tonsilitis in Beijing, China. She had made the trip to accompany her father, who was on a trade delegation from the House of Representatives, to which he belonged.

Figure 1. Ida May Vare mausoleum. Detail: stained glass window. West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA. Photo: author.

Inside her mausoleum is a stained glass window with a portrait of Vare being guided by an angelic figure (see the giant, stylized wings) who holds a lamp of revelation. She’s being guided to peace, as the window states (pax). As in other windows, the detailed work (Vare’s and the angel’s faces, the hands, the lamp) has been painted upon glass pieces, whereas the rest is depicted by abstractly mixed-color glass pieces cut to present the parts of wings, etc. It’s actually quite pretty.

We know it’s her portrait because her name is in a register at the bottom, and because the face in the window matches her picture which can be seen at her entry in Find a Grave dot com. Also there is an exterior shot of her mausoleum.

Her father, who doubtless paid for her mausoleum, was a multi-term U.S. representative for Pennsylvania and was ultimately elected to the U.S. Senate in 1927, whence he was soon bounced when charges of electoral corruption caught up with him in 1929. You can see his smug image here, as well as a picture of his mausoleum.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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  1. Thank you for the information on Ida May Vare and her stained glass portrait. I read a book on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, which contained information about the pandemic in Philadelphia, which was hit hard by the virus. The book also talked about the Philadelphia government and the Vare brothers. That led me to Ida May Vare’s story and the stained glass.

    Find a Grave (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/91323598/ida-may-vare) and West Laurel Hill Cemetery Records (https://westlaurelhill.com/webcemeteries/records) has Ida May Vare buried in George Vare’s (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/58641643/george-augustus-vare) mausoleum.

    Her stained glass window portrait is in her father WIlliam Scott Vare’s (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12908/william-scott-vare) mausoleum.

    Ida May Vare is buried with her father and mother in the WIlliam Scott Vare’s mausoleum.

    I’ve been looking for the stained glass portrait. I found it on December 21, 2020. Here is the photo I took on that day.


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