Mr. Parkerson died March 28, 2014.
The son of the late Nettie Bowles Parkerson and Virgil Leo Parkerson, he was born Sept. 5, 1920, in the community of Friendship Church, Attala County, Miss., and grew up with sister June and brothers Weldon and Ferris “Buddy” Parkerson.
His mother named him after President Warren Harding, adding the middle name of Orin. He never learned why she chose that name.
As a young boy, he loved to listen to stories from his Grandfather Bowles, who was 12 years old when the Civil War began. The owner of a country store, Grandfather Bowles described how difficult life was in those days and taught him the value of hard work.
Warren’s love for communications began at an early age when he built his first radio set out of copper wire and a Quaker Oats box. The set only worked at night, but he could pick up radio signals from stations miles away. His favorite was WSB in Atlanta. While attending French Camp Academy he worked at Kelly’s Radio Shop and learned more about radios and how to repair them.
On Sept. 1, 1939, he joined the Army Air Corps. It was the beginning of a career that would span more than three decades, three wars, 32 countries and six continents. He never made it to Antarctica.
During his service, he met a number of famous people, including the Duke of Windsor, bandleader Kay Kyser, Col. Charles Lindbergh, Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, astronaut Jim Lovell, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and the Shah of Iran. This meeting with the Shah produced an invitation to visit the underground tomb of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, an unprecedented accomplishment for a Christian and Warren’s proudest achievement.
He was awarded 15 medals, nine citations, a number of letters of appreciation and four Pacific Campaign stars. He retired in 1971 with the rank of lieutenant colonel after commanding the 5th Mobile Communications Group at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
Shortly after his retirement from the Air Force, he was offered and accepted a job with Centel Telephone Corp. in Tallahassee, Fla. As vice president, he was in charge of the installation of telephone service for the newly-constructed buildings for the Florida legislature and state government. One of the first things he did was expand and improve a customer service operation that was outdated and inefficient.
Ten years later, he retired again to spend time with his wife, Jackie, and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The couple divided their time between their mountain home in Habersham County and their beach house at Mexico Beach, Fla.
His beloved Jackie died March 13, 2014. They had been married for 71 years.
Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Warren O. Parkerson II and wife Barbara R. Parkerson of Burke, Va.; daughter and son-in-law, Kay Parkerson and Don O’Briant of Lilburn; sister, June Pee of French Camp, Miss.; grandchildren, Warren O. “Trey” Parkerson (Angela L.), Christie P. Armstrong (Brian A.), Charles D. “Chuck” O’Briant, Leigh Lisiewski (Matt); and eight great-grandchildren.
Those wishing may send condolences to the family online by visiting hillsidememorialchapel.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to French Camp Academy, an interdenominational Christian boarding home and academy, by visiting frenchcamp.org or by mail: French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745.
Funeral arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel, Clarkesville.
The Northeast Georgian
Wednesday, April 2, 2014