Warren R. Dempsey

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Warren R. Dempsey
AIKEN - Warren Rae Dempsey III, graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, who attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and was a decorated Special Forces Infantry Officer in Vietnam and a successful investment manager for over 40 years, died June 1 at his home in Aiken, South Carolina after living with cancer for nearly two years. He was 71.
Dempsey was born on October 6, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jean Hazlett Dempsey, a homemaker from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Warren Rae Dempsey, Jr., an insurance agency owner from Baltimore. As quarterback of the Baltimore Polytechnic high school football team in 1962, he led his team to an undefeated season, state championship and a #5 national ranking, earning him all-Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) honors.
Dempsey attended West Point from 1963 to 1966, where he played Plebe football and varsity lacrosse. In June 1966, he worked in the family insurance business and joined the Maryland National Guard serving in a Special Forces unit. He graduated from Officers Candidate School with a Reserve Officers Commission in 1967. In 1968, Dempsey volunteered to join the Regular Army and graduated from the Infantry Officers Basic Course, Airborne and Ranger Schools and Special Forces Officers School before joining the 7th SFG at Ft. Bragg, NC. Lieutenant Dempsey volunteered for the 5th SF Group in Vietnam early in 1969. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in combat, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Dempsey completed his bachelor's degree in finance at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance, where he was also assistant lacrosse coach. Dempsey worked as a trader for several prominent Wall Street firms before starting his own business as a hedge fund manager for private clients, which remained his profession until his passing.
He and his wife of 28 years, Karen Somerville Dempsey, were very involved in the thoroughbred racing and steeplechase communities. Dempsey served as treasurer of the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) in 2001 and 2002 and was a member of the NSA's board of directors from 1997 through 2002. The couple had horses with trainers Tom Voss and Jonathan Sheppard, most notably Atlanta Cup and Saratoga winner Soaringoverseattle (trained by Voss), and War Talk, who won the 2001 Little Everglades Stakes for novices when trained by Sheppard.
A lifetime member of the Elkridge Hartford Hunt in Maryland, Dempsey also served on the advisory board for the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum. He was an enthusiastic golfer and court tennis player and enjoyed membership at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken and the Aiken Tennis Club.
In addition to his wife, Dempsey is survived by daughter, Lisa Dempsey Rubenson (Todd), of Charlotte, NC; step-daughter, Morgan Alexandra Brown, of Los Angeles, CA and step-son Lorcan Patrick O'Toole, also of Los Angeles; brothers, David Blaine Dempsey (Eileen) of Rockville, MD and William Brent Dempsey, of Baltimore; sisters, Carol Dempsey Finney and Margaret Lynn Dempsey, both of Baltimore; granddaughters Cornelia Blaine and Sophia Katherine Rubenson; step-grandson Remington Rivers; and six nieces and nephews.
There will be a private gathering of family and friends in Aiken on June 13 to celebrate his life. A more formal memorial service will be held Thursday, June 15th at 10:30 am at the Church of the Redeemer at 5603 North Charles Street in Baltimore. Donations may be made to Saratoga War Horse Foundation or Charlotte Bridge Home. The family would like to thank the physicians, surgeons and staff at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte for providing world-class care - in particular, Dr. Christopher Ferris, Dr. John B. Martinie and Dr. Reza Nazemzadeh.

Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on June 11, 2017