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Donald Horace Warren

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Donald Horace Warren Obituary
Donald Horace Warren

Donald Horace Warren, 88, of Huntington Beach, died June 20 at Beverly Hospital, Montebello, where he was taken with head injuries sustained in a fall that day at the Montebello Country Club. Paramedics attempted to revive him at the scene, but he never regained consciousness. He was attending a high school reunion at the club when the accident occurred.

Mr. Warren was born November 21, 1925, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the second of three sons of John Henry Warren of Nottingham, England, and Lillian (Smith) Warren of Boston. In 1929, the family moved to Southern California, where he grew up.

He graduated from Montebello High School in 1944 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen that same year. He then joined the Merchant Marines, where he trained to be a ship's cook - a skill that would serve him well the rest of his life.

Following an honorable military discharge in 1945 he began a lifelong career as a restaurateur, starting at the former Tops Drive-In in Montebello, which he eventually owned.

On April 28, 1946, in Montebello, he married his high school sweetheart, Naida Ailene McLure. She survives, along with two sons, Todd (Elizabeth) of Oceanside and Tony (Julie) of Greenville, S.C.; two daughters, Tracie Warren of Huntington Beach, and Tina (Richard) Warren-Diaz of Tehachapi; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two brothers, William (Barbara) of Cambria, and Harry of Arizona; and a cousin John (Marie) McFadyen of Vancouver, B.C.

In 1964, in Monrovia, Donald Warren opened the first of what would be the original group of franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Southern California. He eventually opened six additional locations, earning him the nickname "the Colonel" among friends and local businessmen. When he moved his family to Huntington Beach and bought a boat, he named it the "Finger Lickin'."

He and his wife Naida were partners in business and in life, working side by side throughout their 68 years of marriage. The couple enjoyed many of the same activities, including league bowling, golf, and travel.

But he is best remembered for his lifelong love of the sea. Donald Warren was well known as an expert deep-sea fisherman in the port cities of Long Beach, San Pedro, and surrounding areas, where his talent for sport fishing was only surpassed by his legendary generosity with fellow fishermen and the crews.

Many in the fishing community who knew him well, joined with his family and friends on a final voyage to pay him tribute. Donald Warren was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea during a private service on July 19. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obits.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Aug. 16, 2014
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