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SGT Walter Maurice Warner, Sr

SGT Walter Maurice Warner, Sr

Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
Death 26 Jan 1981 (aged 59)
Missoula, Missoula County, Montana, USA
Burial Gregson, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 5843399 · View Source
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My Dad was born to Walter Warner & Ila Marie Coutchie. He grew up in Flint, Michigan, where he was born. His first name was after his father. His mother had a crush on the singer, Maurice Chevalier, so that's how he got his middle name.

To his family, he is still known by his nickname "Brother." Even nieces and nephews call him "Uncle Brother." Some of his relatives called him by his middle name in an effort to not confuse him with his father.

Dad's father was married twice. His first wife died from complications of childbirth. They had four children together: Howard, Clarence, Beatrix, and Ernest. Bea and Ernest both died in childhood.

He later met and married my grandmother and they had four children together: Marcella, Walt (my dad), Dorothy aka "Tootie" and Duane aka "Chum." In addition, they reared Howard and Clarence from his first marriage.

Dad joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18, enlisting on November 11, 1939. At the time, there was what was called the "buddy system," where friends could enlist together and go through basic training together. He and his friend, Harry Look, enlisted together. Dad was pretty skinny and was just under the lowest weight requirement for his height. He wanted to be a Marine more than anything, so the recruiter gave him some money and sent him to a fruit stand, telling him to eat all the bananas he could hold and come back. He did and made the weight requirement.

He and Harry went to basic at Parris Island, South Carolina.

He was in the 1st Marine Division. He was in a special weapons unit. He was in the 1st wave of Marines to land on Guadalcanal in WWII on August 7, 1942. Very few of those brave men survived. He fought many other battles in WW II and took part in the occupation of China. He was nominated for the Silver Star.

He always remembered where he was at the announcement of the Pearl Harbor attack--in the chow line at Guantanimo Bay. He said no one could eat. They threw away their breakfast and went back to their bunks and listened for more news.

While in the Marines, he was so good with the pistol that he was selected to teach sharp-shooting to the FBI at Quantico, Virginia.

He was honorably discharged in July 1947.

In civilian life, he was a diesel mechanic. He married 3 times, my mother was his third wife. He first married Cherry (later changed to Sherry) Williford in 1944 and they had a son, Terry. His second wife's name was Norma. He married my mother, Mildred Elnora Nash, on March 21, 1953 in Elko, NV. They were sealed for time & all eternity on December 10, 1958 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They had 5 children: Brenda, Walt, Jr., Gary, Debbie & Becky(me).

He loved the outdoors and my Mom often said he was born 100 years too late. He loved camping, hunting, fishing, etc.

He was very capable and could build or fix just about anything. He built several houses over the years and was well known for his beautiful fireplaces. If he wanted to learn how to make something, he'd go straight to the source (factory) and would build for himself an even better version of it.

His older sister, Marcella, remembered that when they were children, she and their younger sister, Dorothy, were playing with their dolls using boxes in lieu of a dollhouse. So, he built them a good dollhouse complete with a working waterfall. They were only a year apart each and he couldn't have been very old.

Another story his siblings recall is that he decided to invent electric earmuffs, battery operated. He made them and went outside to test them while the other kids watched out the window. Pretty soon, they saw smoke coming from the earmuffs. He would have to work on that invention some more.

He was also very good with animals. His grandfather raised Percheron horses and the kids spent many happy summers on the Coutchie Farm with their grandparents at Reeman, Michigan (near Fremont). His grandfather taught him a lot growing up, but he had also worked with veterinarians. He never lost the skills he learned from them.

He was always helping others. And, even if he had to buy parts to fix something for them, he never asked for reimbursement. I learned from him to always help those in need if you could. It bothers me when I see people who aren't like that because I was raised to drop everything if need be and go to someone who needed you.

He was a lot of fun and a great man. He was a wonderful father. He could always make us laugh and let us know we were loved. He died of complications from a heart attack when I was 12 years old.

He could be a character. When I was a child, he had a red cap with white polka dots on it. One day, he was in their bedroom doing something and Mom was in the kitchen. Soon, we heard him calling to her "Mil, Mil, come quick, I see spots before my eyes!" Afraid he was dying, she ran in there to see what was the matter. There he was with that hat pulled over his eyes with a big old grin.

Another time, when I was very small, he had shot a bull elk and tracked it for hours, but never found it. All he found was a piece of the horn that was broken off. He brought it home, stuck it in a plant, and told me to watch and see if it grew him an elk. For a couple of years, I believed an elk was going to grow there! I still have that horn today, among my keepsakes.

Although my parents came from different backgrounds, they were both well-liked by the other's family. Dad was especially close to Mom's father. The story goes that when Grandpa Nash was very ill, he was in bed and didn't want to see anyone. He heard my Dad's voice and called for him. Dad went in to see what he wanted and Grandpa held out his hand and wanted Dad to sit with him. They talked for hours. Grandpa didn't do that with anyone else, not even his own sons or daughters.

Dad wanted to be buried next to Grandpa Nash. And, he was.

~Thanks to everyone for all the touching notes they have left for my father. And, a special thanks to "Pearl's Boy" for sponsoring this memorial~

Family Members


  • Created by: A Marine's Daughter
  • Added: 14 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5843399
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  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SGT Walter Maurice Warner, Sr (9 Jul 1921–26 Jan 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5843399, citing Sunset Memorial Park, Gregson, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by A Marine's Daughter (contributor 46506165) .