Orvil Rex Warner, Jr. "Called To Serve" 1915 ~ 2011Comment on this story
Our noble and beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away peacefully at home on April 4th, 2011. He was days short of his 96th birthday. He was born April 15, 1915, in Fillmore, Utah, to Orvil Rex Warner and Naomi Fisher. He was the oldest of five children. He came from a Mormon pioneer heritage, and he honored his name and his church his entire life through righteous living, dedicated service, and caring deeply for his family, faith, and friends. He was raised in humble circumstances as a young boy in Kelso, California, a small railroad town where he went to a one room schoolhouse. At his mother's insistence, at age 13, he left his beloved home and family to attend high school in Las Vegas. He excelled in academics and sports, and graduated during the Great Depression. As a young man, he served a LDS mission to the Southern States Mission. There he forged a special lifelong friendship with his beloved mission president, Elder LeGrand Richards. He served a total of six missions for the Church, three of them full-time. Dad put himself through BYU, where he majored in math and physics, and graduated with high honors in 1941. He met our mother, Faun Eva Thomson, his college sweetheart, while at BYU, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1942. They recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. Dad joined the Army Air Corps right after graduation, and the Army sent him to UCLA to study meteorology for a year, before being sent overseas as an air weather officer. Dad served honorably during World War II, and eventually retired from the Air Force Reserve as a full colonel. Dad had a distinguished civilian career with the National Weather Service. He was the Deputy Regional Director over eight western states. He worked hard to provide for his family, but his work did not define him. He had two great loves in his life: his family and his church. He dedicated his time and energy to where his heart was. He had a deep and abiding love for his wife and our mother, as she did for him. It was a lifelong love affair, and they were inseparable, particularly in their later years when he provided tender, constant, and attentive care to her for so long while she suffered the effects of poor health. Dad had a strong and vital testimony of Jesus Christ, and served faithfully in many responsible callings in the LDS Church. In 1980, he was called to serve as the first President of the newly created West Virginia Charleston mission. He and our mother dearly loved West Virginia, and especially the many missionaries they served with during those years. It was a highlight of their lives. They later served together in the England Coventry mission. Dad touched many lives. He influenced many people for good, most often through the power of the example of his life. He was kind, generous, decent, and loving. He maintained his sense of humor to the end. He will be missed more than we can say. We are grateful we had him in our lives for so long. He fought the good fight, he finished his course, and he truly endured to the end. He was a great husband and father. He is survived by his wife, and his four children, Jacqi Tengberg (David), Scott (Ruth), Paul (Linda), and Mark (Pandy). He has 16 grandchildren, and 40 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Mont Warner. The family wishes to thank Sonia, Maria, and staff from Alpine Hospice for their kindness and service to our father. Funeral services will be held at the Yalecrest II ward chapel at 1050 South 1800 East in Salt Lake City at noon on Saturday, April 9th. Friends may call at the Wasatch Lawn Mortuary at 3401 Highland Drive in Salt Lake City on Friday evening, April 8th, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., and at the Church beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to the services.