Timothy M. Warren Sr, chairman of the Massachusetts-based Warren Group and a devoted Bowdoin alumnus and volunteer for nearly seventy years, passed away peacefully last Friday, December 21, at his home in Topsham, Maine. He was 89 years old.
Warren, who served on the Bowdoin Board of Overseers from 1985-91, was described as “a visionary” in an obituary published in Banker & Tradesman, a publication founded by his grandfather in 1872. Banker & Tradesman also published a tribute to Warren in its December 31st edition, and The Boston Globe published a feature on Warren on December 28. Warren was one of five Bowdoin graduates featured in a Spring 2010 Bowdoin magazine article titled “Life Lessons,” in which older alumni reflected on their lives during turbulent times (a PDF of the article, which begins on page 18, is available here on the Bowdoin website).
In a message to Bowdoin College trustees, President Barry Mills—who knew Warren personally for more than forty years—described Warren’s accomplishments, his service, and his loyalty to Bowdoin that “knew no bounds.” The Warren family will hold a memorial service to celebrate Tim Warren’s life at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 4, 2013, at First Parish, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.
To Members of the Board of Trustees,
I write with the very sad news that our friend, colleague, and devoted alumnus Tim Warren ’45 passed away last Friday, December 21, 2012, just days after his 89th birthday.
Tim was born on December 9, 1923, in New Canaan, Conn. For many summers, his family would vacation on Maine’s Kezar Lake, in Lovell, and as the nation began to sink into the Great Depression, Tim’s parents decided to make a move. His father relocated the family’s publishing company from New York to Boston, while his mother decided to move the family from Connecticut to Maine. As he recounted for Bowdoin magazine in 2010, “I arrived in Maine on the cusp of the Depression. I was 7 years old, and I remember everything about it. I attended a one-room schoolhouse for all of my elementary years, and then Fryeburg Academy and then I got a scholarship to come to Bowdoin.”
Tim’s initial Bowdoin experience would be short-lived. Arriving in the fall of 1941 as a member of the Class of 1945, he transferred to Harvard in 1942 and was soon drafted into the Army Medical Corps. After basic training in Virginia and officer candidate school in Texas, Tim was shipped off to Manila, where he served as a 1st lieutenant, ending up in Japan in the months following the August 1945 surrender. He returned to civilian life, a late summer marriage to the former Phyllis Faber, and to his education at Bowdoin in the fall of 1946. He graduated cum laude in 1947 as a member of the Class of 1945. His fraternity was Alpha Tau Omega.
Tim completed his studies in August 1948 with a degree in French and soon joined his father at Warren Publishing Corp., the publisher of Banker & Tradesman, which Tim’s grandfather had founded in 1872. With his father in ill health, Tim assumed more and more responsibility at the company. Despite an inclination to become a teacher, Tim stayed on to run the company his father and grandfather had built, and eventually turned the reigns of Warren Publishing over to his son, Tim, Jr., a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1970. In fact, Bowdoin is something of a Warren family tradition—Tim’s brother, Willard, was a member of the Class of 1944; his daughter, Betsy Warren-White, is my classmate from the Class of 1972; and Tim’s youngest son, Peter, is a member of the Class of 1974.
In addition to sending all three children to Bowdoin, Tim spent a lifetime in service to his College. For many years he was the Class of 1945’s Class Agent in the Alumni Fund. He also served on the Alumni Council from 1981-85, as a member of the Council’s Executive Committee, and as chair of Planned Giving for the Class of 1945. He was elected to the Board of Overseers in 1985, where he served on the Committee on Academic Affairs. Tim assisted the College with several capital campaigns, and he served as a Bowdoin Career Counselor and as a member of the Bowdoin Alumni Schools and Interviewing Committee (BASIC). He also served on Bowdoin’s Bicentennial Committee. In 1991 Tim was elected Overseer Emeritus, and one year later, he was honored with the Alumni Service Award.
Tim was also characteristically active in his community of Concord, Mass., where he and Phyllis were named Concord’s Honored Citizens for 1995. Tim served as a member and chair of the town’s Report Committee; as director of the Concord Youth Center; as a member of the local Youth Hotline; as a member and chair of the Concord Free Public Library; and as a trustee and chair of the Concord Library Corporation. In 2007 the Warrens moved to the Highlands in Topsham, Maine, and Tim continued to be active in community and church affairs here. He also got to spend a lot more time on this campus that he loved.
Tim’s loyalty to Bowdoin knew no bounds. I knew him personally when I was a student here in the early 1970s, and even then, I marveled at his devotion and enthusiasm. In 1976 he wrote: “I am unashamedly proud and sentimental about the College. It is one of the most important things in my life.” Each of us who knew Tim knew this to be true. He revealed it in his enthusiasm, his active involvement, his generosity, and his wise and candid council.
The Warren family will hold a memorial service to celebrate Tim’s life at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 4, 2013, at First Parish, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA. Those wishing to write to Phyllis may reach her at 13 Curtis Lane, Topsham, ME 04086.
It is always difficult to lose a beloved member of our Bowdoin community, but it is especially so this time of year as we gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. Our deepest sympathies go out to Phyllis, Tim Jr., Betsy, Peter, and the entire Warren family, along with our deep respect and gratitude for this remarkable man and his many enduring contributions to our College and to the common good.