Leonard E. Warren
Leonard E. Warren, 93, fought a good fight and completed his course on Thursday, June 5, 2014. He died at Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital in Hazlehurst, MS.
A memorial service will be held at Stringer Funeral Home in Hazlehurst, MS on Friday June 13.
Visitation will be at 1 p.m. and service at 2 p.m.
The Funeral will be at Culpepper Funeral Home in Kosciusko, MS on June 14. Visitation begins at 12 Noon. Chapel service follows at 2 p.m. Burial with military honors will be in Rural Hill cemetery in Winston County.
Mr. Warren was born near the Smallwood community in Winston County, Mississippi on October 17, 1920, to Levy Q. and Rose Leopard Warren. At age 19 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, serving in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he helped build a bridge over the Snake River; fought massive forest fires; and, at a wilderness campsite, chased a pilfering black bear and retrieved his and his buddy's last loaf of bread.
He dutifully served his country during World War II in the Army as a gunner sergeant of the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Towed Array, Company C. He was a veteran of the Normandy invasion on D-Day (Omaha Beach - June 6, 1944) and the Battle of the Bulge breakout. When Mr. Warren passed away it was that anniversary. The time and date at Omaha Beach, Normandy, where he was 70 years previously to-the-day, was 12:30 a.m. June 6.
After months of daily enemy contact risking his life for the country he loved, the Allies finally realized victory. In his later years Mr. Warren grieved to see Americans debasing the motto "In God We Trust," questioning the country's Judeo Christian roots and electing leaders whose mores and values erode during their terms of service.
He returned to the family farm in 1946, married his sweetheart, Annie, and started his family.
Mr. Warren was employed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman for 26 years (with the exception of a nine-month assignment with Ellisville State School, where he helped to upgrade and expand their livestock program under the guidance of Mississippi State University). He initially served as a housing unit supervisor (guard) at the penitentiary, then oversaw pork production for "the Farm" and market. Before the penitentiary terminated livestock operations in 1974, "the Farm" maintained a 3,000 head swine operation; from breeding, to growing, to market, to processing. After the prison system stopped farm production, Mr. Warren served as a security officer at the prison's inmate Vocational Education School, until retirement.
He retired to Copiah County, where he became known for his home-grown tomatoes and watermelons and, later, his signature World War II veteran cap. Regardless of occupation or retirement, he never lost his love of working the soil and seeing plants grow. Daily, he marveled at God's creation. He cared for all animals—whether farm, pet, or homeless. He had also enjoyed making pets of his goats and chickens.
Of the apostolic Pentecostal faith, he loved serving his Lord and reading his well-worn Bible. During retirement, he made numerous 300 +mile round trips back to Parchman as a volunteer with the Chaplain Department. He was respected by even Death Row inmates who called him "Pop." Into his 80's he also visited the local nursing home, sharing his faith and encouragement. He liked to give people something to smile about, and had an incredible imagination that led to many a tall tale, funny joke, or witty comment.
A highlight of his last years occurred a month before his 91st birthday when he was selected to participate in the 2011 Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. He cherished all of the "thank you" letters and cards he received during "mail call' on the flight home. He was preceded in death by his Honor Flight "Guardian," Jack Mills, a great Marine who went above-andbeyond his duty as guardian and became a cherished friend.
Mr. Warren was preceded in death by Annie Warren, his wife of 62 years; also by his sister Maggie Ray, and his brother, Amsey (a Purple Heart recipient in Italy). He will be missed by his older sister May Ray of Nesbit, daughter Kaye Warren of Gallman, son Lynn Warren of Gallman (Kathy Miller Lamb Sears and grandchildren), many friends and neighbors, and his dog and cat. (His dog began mourning the day before Mr. Warren passed away.)
Special thanks to all who prayed, loved, and encouraged us during these years. As Dad would say to all, "God loves you."
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made as follows:
Rural Hill Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi; Copiah Animal Shelter (http://www.copiahanimalshelter.net/donate.html)
WW-II Veterans Honor Flight (http://www.honorflight.org/donate-now/)
Culpepper Funeral Service
406 East Adams Street Kosciusko, MS 39090
Published in Clarion Ledger from June 8 to June 13, 2014