Frederick Leon Warner, age 93, died on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Nicknamed at a young age, he was known as “Pete” the rest of his life. Pete was born May 31, 1929, in Liberal, Kansas to Leon Pierson and Anna Imogene Hinch Warner. He and younger brother Charles “Bud” Warner attended Liberal schools and grew up working summers on the family farm. As a teenager Pete saved money to purchase flying lessons and earned his pilot license. He was proud to be a part of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program enacted during World War II.
A member of the 1947 Liberal High School graduating class, he served as a class officer and a cheerleader. After graduation he headed to the west coast to sightsee and work before joining the Army in 1951. Assigned to the 40th Infantry "Sunshine Division" of the U.S. Army he served as a Staff Sergeant in the Korean War. Before heading to the front line, his regiment was sent to Japan for cold weather training, including learning to ski on Mount Fujiyama. Pete and his troops experienced violent battles and survived extreme conditions in Korea.
Pete married Julia Jeanette Sullivan on April 25, 1953, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Hays, Kansas. Their marriage lasted seventy years with Julia dying just 21 days before Pete.
His career included working at the locally owned Coca-Cola Bottling Plant and serving as the Plant Manager. This work took him to the surrounding communities to deliver Coca-Cola products where he made friends all over the region. After the plant closed, he went to work for Stu Emmert's Automotive Center, formerly Hood Chevrolet, where he was employed for 45 years. He won sales awards and had repeat customers spanning several generations.
Pete was active in a variety of organizations over the years and held many leadership positions. As a young man, he enjoyed the Jaycees, and belonged to the PTA, VFW and American Legion. A past president of Rotary, with 63 years of perfect attendance, he earned the designation as a Paul Harris Fellow in 1994. Pete remained active in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church until his death.
Survivors include his three daughters, Sara, husband Rick Wood, sons Derek, Adam, and Patrick; Susan, husband Tom Rathbun, children Scott, Sara Jane, Chad (Ambree), Michelle and Kati; Jane and son Matthew Link. and many other family and friends.
Visitation will be from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Friday, April 21, 2023, at the Hornung Family Funeral Home, 1212 W 2nd Street, Liberal, Kansas. The family will be present to greet friends from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Graveside Services will be at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Graceland Cemetery, of Meade, Kansas. Rev. Jeff Mitchell will be presiding.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Liberal Rotary Club in memory of F. L. Warner in care of Hornung Family Funeral Home, 1212 W 2nd Street, Liberal, Kansas 67901.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hornungfuneralhome.com