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Watson Cottrell Warriner Sr.

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Watson Cottrell Warriner Sr. Obituary
Watson Cottrell Warriner, Sr.

AGE: 98 • Wilmington

Watson Cottrell Warriner, Sr., died at the Country House in Wilmington, DE on September 17, 2015.

Watson was born in Virginia in 1917 and graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering with the class of '38 at VA Tech, Blacksburg, VA. He was granted membership in three honorary societies, Tau Beta PI, Phi Lambda Upsilon and Phi Kappa Phi. He joined the Engineering Department of E.I. DuPont Company Wilmington office in 1939. Europe was rapidly descending into WWII, so the U.S. Government accelerated its involvement with Dupont in 1940 to design, construct and operate numerous plants to produce military explosives. They produced 70% of it for the war - smokeless gun powder for rifles and cannons, TNT for bombs and ultimately the huge Hanford Engineer Works, Hanford Washington. This was the top secret Manhattan Project that produced the plutonium for "Fat Man", the Nagasaki atomic bomb that ended WWII. Watson was engaged in the design and construction at eight of these huge projects from 1940 - 1945. A one hour DVD, "World War II - Conversation with Watson Warriner" recorded for the State of Delaware is on file at The Country House, Greenville, DE Dupont's Hagley Museum, Wilmington , DE, The Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC. and the CREHST Museum, Richland, WA.

Watson married Ann Bernard Grymes from Memphis, TN in 1945 and was transferred to Wilmington, DE designing and building various commercial plants until 1950. He spent the next five years designing facilities for the huge Savannah River Plant, Aikin, SC to produce more plutonium for atomic bombs and tritium for more powerful thermos-nuclear bombs.

During this period in 1951, Watson with three prominent architects bought the twenty two acres in the Greenville suburb which is now known as Brook Valley Road. He installed the road, water, sewer and electric lines creating the neighborhood of seventeen custom built homes. He and Ann built a house and lived there for fifty years rearing their six surviving children. All of this is recorded by him including his contribution with photos for the 2001 improved Kennett Pike through Greenville creating new left turn lanes and traffic light that serves Brook Valley Rd. The recorded document is "The Metamorphosis of Brook Valley Road - Greenville, DE" and distributed to all seventeen residences.

His lifelong desire to be in technical sales was realized in 1955 with a transfer to the Plastics Department of Dupont. For the next twenty six years he was involved in increasing the sale of thermoplastics with major companies in the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He retired in 1981 at the age of 64 with 42 years of service.

Watson was an avid traveler, particularly by train in the lower 48 states, Alaska, Western Canada and much of Mexico. He traveled many thousands of miles on privately owned cars operating as special trains pulled by Amtrak locomotives. This was supplemented by frequent ocean cruises. Watson and Ann moved one mile in 2002 to the Country House Retirement complex on Kennett Pike. Ann passed away in 2005.

He is survived by his children Watson, Jr of Yardley, PA, Jane Obara of Unionville, PA, Douglas of Milford, DE, Shepherd of Denville, NJ, Richard of Dover, DE and Elizebeth Dean of Colorado Springs, CO; thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday September 30, 2015 at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, DE 19807 with a committal service to follow in the adjoining cemetery.

His family suggests Memorial Contributions to St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church at the above address.

For online condolences,please visit



Published in The News Journal from Sept. 21 to Sept. 23, 2015
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