Robert Earl “Papa” Warren

October 26, 1923 - November 24, 2020
Robert Earl “Papa” Warren


Robert Earl “Papa” Warren made it home today, Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Passing peacefully at Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehab, Wilmington, NC at the astounding age of 97. We love you Dad and miss you.

Robert was born on October 26, 1923 in Durham, NC to Lonnie Earl and Hattie Bertha Miles Warren. He was of the Methodist faith. Before the Civil War, Robert’s family were part owners and lived where what is now known as Umstead State Park in Raleigh, NC.

Survived by his two sons, Rickey (wife Bobbie) and Brett (wife Betty) all of Winnabow; grandchildren: John Benton, aka Mikey, (wife Melissa), Candace Warren, Brittany Sidbury (husband Gerrod); six great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews, all dear to him.

Preceding him in death, the love of his life, married 66 years, Joan Winstead Warren; a granddaughter, Heather Warren Shows; and one brother Jack Warren, Sr.

Outstanding at anything he did, Robert started college in 1941 at UNC – Chapel Hill only to put his education on hold to sign up for the U.S. Army to help out in WWII, his words.

Inducted January 1943 and served at Camp Swift, TX; Pacific Theatre until 1946. He was awarded several Bronze Service Stars and several medals during his campaigns and battles in New Guinea and Luzon. A young American Patriot.

Returning to UNC – Chapel Hill graduating in 1949. He played baseball for UNC – Chapel Hill and semi pro for the Durham Bulls.
Robert and Joan married in 1950.

Known for his many friends as “Bob”, he had quite the personality! Making you laugh so hard your face hurt and he could “get your goat” every time!
A master at mathematics, ping pong or checkers his grandchildren teasingly called him “Mr. Perfect”!

At 94, he was once called “Ole Timey Jukebox” because of his love to breakout singing old 40’s tunes, knowing all the words! He loved to play his air guitar and dance a jig to Glenn Miller!

Devoted and caring, Robert always provided a wonderful home for his family.

He worked for Sears, the government, retiring from Moore Business Forms. Coached Little League, enjoyed golf, family, and friends. Robert and Joan lastly resided on Rose Avenue in Wilmington, leaving behind many precious memories.

We thank Jesus, our God for His direction and provision as we cared for our Dad.

We are thankful for the Veterans Administration.

We would like to thank everyone at Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehab and Liberty Hospice Services for the care our Dad received due to his illness.

A graveside service will be Thursday, December 3, 2020, 11:00 AM, at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Wilmington, NC.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099.


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  • November 27, 2020
    Lynn Denning says:
    Mr. Warren always had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile and your never knew what he thinking. I enjoyed watching the videos of him singing and being happy. Hold on to those memories and times for they are as precious as he was. John and I are keeping the Warren Family in our prayers.

  • November 28, 2020
    George and Nancy Jones says:
    He was quite a fine husband, father, grandfather and neighbor. We will miss Joan and Robert always.

  • November 30, 2020
    Betty Finch lit a candle:
    Lit since November 30, 2020 at 11:28:37 AM

  • December 02, 2020
    Mike Southerland says:
    Ricky, I sorry to hear about your father's dead. I remember the first time I met him. He was fun to be around and loved talking sports. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.