Roy D. Warner
“Home is the sailor, home from sea, and the hunter home from the hill.” — Robert Louis Stevenson (“Requiem”)
Former Brainerd resident Roy D. Warner, 88, died of natural causes Tuesday, May 29, 2012, not at his Shirley, Mass., home as he had wished and not as painlessly as he deserved. Born in Chicago, Feb. 19, 1924, the second of Rose Marie and Richard Warner’s five children, he grew up on a farm outside Brainerd, Minn., where the family had moved when Roy was five years old. As a boy, he learned to hunt and fish, passions he enjoyed until very late in his life.
At the age of 17, immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until the end of the war as a radioman on board the battleship USS North Carolina. He observed his 21st birthday on the opening day of the Battle of Iwo Jima. After the war, he returned to Brainerd and married his high school sweetheart, Patricia L. Worden, launching a marriage that spanned nearly 60 years. Roy worked in the railroad yards there, running a drop forge, until after the birth of their first child, Roy Jr. In 1948, he re-enlisted — this time in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., where their second child, Patricia Rose, was born, Jan. 21, 1950; then he was shipped off to fight in the Korean War, as part of the 60th Signal Corp of the Army Security Agency. There, he earned a commission as a 2nd lieutenant. He remained in the Army until his retirement as a major in 1963. Along the way, two more children were born: Thomas Bradley in Nuremberg, Germany, June 19, 1957, and Patrick Michael at Fort Devens, Mass., July 8, 1962. Following his military retirement, Roy worked for a facilities services company for another 20-plus years as the New England regional manager.
He was a generous and caring man, an incredibly hard worker with strong leadership skills, and a dedicated steward of the rural Massachusetts woodland property he called home. He was also a great story-teller and a heckuva jitterbugger. Neither he nor Pat was a college graduate, but they steadfastly encouraged their children to pursue higher education. All but Tom completed their degrees (and only his untimely death prevented him from graduating from Amherst College).
Roy is survived by his sons, Patrick, of Leominster, Mass., and Bud (Roy Jr.), of Molt, Mont.; four grandchildren, Connor, of Lawrence, Kan., Nathan, of Billings, Mont., and Kristen Sinclair and Patrick Tolomeo, of Ocean City, N.J.; also three great-grandchildren, Colton and Madison Rose Warner, of Billings, Mont., and Brayden Sinclair, of Ocean City. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pat, in 2005; his daughter, Rosie (Patricia Rose), in 2002; and his son, Tom, in 1979.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to the Thomas B. Warner ’75 Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Lawrence Academy, P.O. Box 992, Groton, MA 01450.