BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Lieutenant Colonel Donald French Patrick Warrick, Jr., 71, passed away on Friday, January 3, 2020 following a pedestrian accident.
He was a dual resident of Boardman, Ohio and Tampa, Florida.
Don “Donnie” was born on March 17, 1948, a son of Donald French Warrick, Sr. and Florence (Lane) Warrick in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.
He graduated from Connellsville High School in 1966 and received a BA in Political Science from Youngstown State University in 1970.
Don began his 38 year military service in the Army as a Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot from 1970-71. His passion for flying prompted him to join the USAF in 1972. He flew the T-37 and T-38 Talon on training missions and the C-123 in Vietnam. He entered the 911th Airlift Wing in 1974. His career as a C-130 pilot was legendary. His incredible self-confidence, calm courageous nature and rugged good looks inspired the nickname ‘C-130 Steve McQueen’ by fellow Airmen. In 2000-2003 he served as the 911th Airlift Wing Vice Wing Commander. While working in this capacity he initiated and directed the first “Wings Over Pittsburgh” airshow. This spectacular event put the 911th on the map. The airshows have spanned nearly two decades, growing to become the Air Force Reserve Command’s largest airshow and served as benchmark for the other bases’ open house programs. These shows host over 100,000 guests per weekend and bolstered USAF recruiting and retention in post 9/11 era. Don was a senior leader of over 1,500 airmen, community ambassador to other government agencies and local businesses and a key supporter for community grass roots efforts to keep the 911th open during Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) programs. He retired from the Air Force Reserves with extensive flying and operational accomplishments in 2008.
Don Warrick’s tenacity was rivaled only by his curiosity. Over the past 50 years he wore many hats; highly skilled and successful in the medical, food service, financial and aviation industries. He was a pharmaceutical sales representative/regional manager for Bristol Myers in Ohio, VP of Food Service Division at Galaxy Foods in Orlando, Florida, Executive Sales Officer at Clover Hills in Pennsylvania, a transamerica investment advisor in Ohio and Florida and a C-130 instructor pilot at CAE USA’s Tampa Training Center in Tampa, Florida.
He developed lifelong friendships everywhere he worked. He loved his CAE family and is sorely missed by his crews from all over the world, especially the Belgian and Poland Airmen whom he fondly referred to as, “my gritty guys”.
He was an avid golfer, runner and skier. A world traveler, thrill seeker, voracious reader and a diehard Steelers fan.
Don always viewed life through optimistic eyes. He was a man’s man, a positive force, mentor and role model to many. Quitting was never an option – if there was a will, Don found a way. His immense love, devotion and adoration for his wife and children were beyond compare. He was a man of strong faith, integrity and character. Simply stated, “He was the best of the best.” His untimely death is a great loss and tremendous void.
Don was proceeded in death by his parents, Donald and Florence Warrick and his son, Donald Warrick III.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Elizabeth (LoGiudice) Warrick; his children, Kristie (Joseph) Remish, Heather Warrick, Crawford Warrick and McCallen Warrick and grandchildren, Joseph, Michael and Kaitlin Remish. He also leaves behind his heartbroken German Shepherd, Bonnie.
A private memorial service with full military honors is scheduled for a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Boardman, Ohio.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls if air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
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