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Carl  Dean  Warner

Carl Dean Warner

Mar 2, 1944 - Apr 17, 2024

Carl Dean Warner - Obituary


arl Dean Warner was born on March 2, 1944 at home on his family dairy farm where he was also raised in Wheaton, Missouri (a rural farm town in the southwestern part of the state) to Gerald and Lorene Warner. He attended the Wheaton School System from childhood through high school. Carl was very active in sports and the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Carl was so busy with FFA projects and making money to prepare for college, he had to concentrate on one sport only; basketball was his choice. He excelled in basketball his senior year of high school, where he was also the captain of the team. He averaged 18 points per game and shot 64% from the field. Carl was also the student body president of Wheaton High School in his senior year. Carl’s parents taught him thriftiness, an extremely hard work ethic, and saving money for college and life. This was manifested in the fact that Carl was extremely proud of a rare accomplishment for such a young man - the fact that he had most of his college paid for with his hard earned savings before he even started college! Carl had breeder sows which produced feeder pigs that he fattened and successfully marketed. Carl liked to quote that pigs put him through college! And this most special work ethic and perspective followed him for the rest of his life! Because of his Dad’s severe rheumatoid arthritis, Carl had to find a college closer to home so he could help his father on the farm on the weekends. Carl attended SW Missouri State (SMS), now called Missouri State University and majored in agricultural economics and minored in business and science. Carl always wanted to fly! He spent a lot of time on John Deere tractors growing up, out in the field, and looking up in the sky. He always felt, “It’s got to be better up there!” B36 planes used to have a low level route over the farm. You could hear them coming for miles - feeling them, and experiencing the rattling of all the windows in the farm house. And boy, this was quite a profound experience! Carl would always run out and wave at them as they passed. And one special time, he even saw the co-pilot wave back! Later when his older friend became an Air Force Fighter pilot, Carl knew that this is what he wanted to do! Carl joined the US Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) after he graduated from college in 1967. Luckily, he passed all physicals and tests and reported to Pensacola, Florida for AOCS in April 1967. AOCS was very physically demanding and was run by Marine Corps Drill Instructors (DI’s). Carl managed to stay out of trouble with the DI and graduated number two in his class. He was commissioned on July 14, 1967. He was then assigned to Saufley Field for Primary Flight Training. He had no previous flight experience but was able to finish Saufley with good grades, yet at this time was unable to quality for Jets. Carl was heartbroken! He really wanted to fly Jets! He was very disappointed that he did not get Fighters for his first orders. But he decided to apply himself at PROP Basic Training because there was still one more chance to get Jets. In true Carl fashion with a proactive and positive attitude, always visualizing the most beneficial outcomes, he worked and studied very hard. Carl graduated at the top of his class, including (CARQAL) - Carrier Qualification. Making the absolute best of any negative or disappointing situation is a theme which carries Carl throughout his life. The Navy then assigned him to Advanced Pilot Training at Corpus Christi, Texas. When he first arrived there, he applied for Jets. After comprehensive reviews and interviews, he was approved for Jets at Beeville, Texas, flying the TF9 Cougar. Carl used to joke that the F9 did not have an Afterburner, but at least it was Jets! Yet Carl easily made this transition to Jets and has always said that flying the T28 made him a much better pilot! Carl graduated from Advanced Pilot Training at the top of his class and got to wear his Wings of Gold in October 1968. Because of his high grades and always being at the top of his class, Carl was recognized as a “Distinguished Naval Graduate of Pilot Training.” His initial orders after receiving his wings were to VF-24 as a SERGRAD. He was picked for this job to work in operations as a schedule writer - the best job in the squadron! Carl wanted to use this 14 month assignment to build his flying experience in all aspects of flight operation. And during this assignment, he accumulated almost 600 hours in the F9. This qualified him to instruct in all facets of the training syllabus. Carl finished this assignment in January of 1970 and received orders to report to VF-124 at NAS Miramar - Fightertown USA - to fly F8 Crusaders. Since the F8 squadrons had been reduced in numbers severely, there was stiff competition in the F8 RAG to win a fleet seat. Carl excelled through the RAG with his top of the class proficiency in the flight syllabus and won his fleet seat with orders to VF-24 in the Summer of 1971. VF-24 was attached to the aircraft carrier - the USS Hancock CV19. The USS Hancock and its air wing were deployed to Vietnam in January 1972. This was good timing because Carl’s only child - Jeffrey Carl Warner - was born in late December 1971. Carl returned from this combat cruise in early October 1972. That Fall, he attended The Naval Safety Officer Course in Monterey, CA. He was completing work ups and getting ready for the next cruise when an enticing job became available. The XO highly recommended that he apply for a Flag Lieutenant and Aide job. Carl interviewed and was accepted for this position by RADM Donald C Davis (The Carrier Group One) at NAS North Island and the USS Kitty Hawk. The Carrier Group One was embarked in the USS Kitty Hawk for an eight month cruise in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans - Carl’s second long cruise after the USS Hancock. While assigned to the VF-24, Carl served as a legal officer, public affairs officer, and safety officer with his collateral duties. He departed VF-24 in March 1973. Even though it was not flying, Carl really enjoyed this Aide position because he had two, really fantastic and influential bosses - RADM Davis and RADM “Gus” Kinnear, both of whom later made 4 Star. One of the highlights of his Aide position was preparing for a luncheon for the Shah of Iran, ADM Thomas Moore - Chairman JCS - and many other senior officials. Carl was in charge of the flag mess which was responsible for this important luncheon. This was an extremely high pressure responsibility and experience, most especially in dealing with the dichotomy of the Iranian culture and the American military dynamic. After this successful luncheon, the air wing performed an air power demonstration for the Shah. RADM Davis got promoted early on and was replaced by RADM “Gus” Kinnear - an avid and accomplished tennis player - who had much influence on Carl both professionally in the military and as a sincere friend. RADM Davis had recommended that Carl become an instructor in the new F14 RAG, VF-124. And then RADM Kinnear recommended Carl transfer after 18 months as an Aide, “To get back in the cockpit!” - his exact words. So Carl transferred to VF-124 in October 1974. Carl completed F14 ground school in September 1974 and flew his first hop in early January 1975. He was a F14 instructor, training fleet replacement pilots until October 1976. Furthermore, Carl was dual qualified in the A4 as an adversary pilot. When Iran purchased the F14 from the United States, part of the purchase agreement included a small cadre team from the RAG instructors. At the time, it felt like an unfortunate career path for Carl, but he was already next to rotate and was selected for the TAFT Iran (Technical Assistance Field Team). He reluctantly accepted the order and reported to Iran in November 1976. But the tour turned out to be much better than expected for Carl, because he turned lemons into lemonade when he met his future wife - Marla. Carl also consistently had the belief that if one does a good job, things will always work out for the best. In fact, his life was based on the important concept! Training the Iranians was a most interesting experience! Most of the pilots were from wealthy families and very well educated in Europe and the United States. We used to jokingly call them, “The Most Exclusive Flying Club in the World!” Because of their background, they had practically zero mechanized experiences which created a much more challenging training process than US pilots who grew up on bicycles, tractors, and doing other activities requiring hand/eye coordination. They spoke perfect English until an emergency situation developed; then they would immediately revert back to Farsi as if English was never in their vocabulary. Part of the agreement with Carl’s orders to Iran was that Carl got his choice of fleet squadrons at Miramar upon his return to the US at the end of his Iranian one year tour, in November 1977. Carl chose VF-211. He was most fortunate with this timing because the Shah was overturned about one year later. Carl then went through refresher training at VF-124 and reported to VF-211 in June 1978. Carl’s time of over eleven hundred hours in the F14A was truly significant! His flying buddies affectionally called him “Carlos” with the call sign - “Flash”. Carl made two - 8 month cruises to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans in VF-211 on the USS Constellation. On the 1980 cruise, the Connie spent 110 straight days in the Indian Ocean and also served as Quality Assurance Administrative and Operations Officer. Carl and Marla had just gotten married in the beginning of the 1980 cruise. The constant separation and recent marriage convinced Carl to pursue a subspecialty in Intelligence to give new stability to his recent marriage. He then received orders to the NSA and reported there in February 1981. He was assigned to an office that performed very interesting work in Operations Security (OPSCC). Carl worked on providing OPSCC Surveys for many strategic and tactical operations involving high levels of government interest. While at the NSA, Carl was chosen for a JCS Black Program. He spent 5 years working for the JCS while performing his duties at the NSA. This task involved extensive travel to Europe providing security for the highest level strategic program. At the end of this tour, he spent another year assigned to their OPSCC program. Carl retired from active duty on August 1, 1991. After retirement, Carl did consulting work for many NSA programs. Sadly, Marla passed away unexpectedly in February 2020, which was a real shock to everyone. Her heart condition and diabetes were worse than any of her friends truly understood. But Carl always had a most positive, pro-active attitude even in the depths of deepest despair which carried him through this most difficult time! Life is short, and he knew this! Thus he remarried soon after Marla’s passing. He always took adversity and turned it into the most positive outcome. Carl married - Angel - a friend of Marla’s who she met at the NSA in 2008. Carl and Marla would often come visit Angel’s alpaca farm - Villa de Alpacas at Historic Villa de Sales in Aquasco, MD. Angel always considered it an honor for the both of them to attend her Open Houses many times a year and truly loved Marla who also shared a profound love of dogs and many other interests. Carl and Angel emailed each other for many years, just about every day, after Marla introduced them, sharing medical information and ideas about vitamin supplements and the importance of diet. They took classes and seminars together at the PA Bowen Farmstead (a neighbor of Angel’s) owned by Sally Fallon Morell - a world renowned nutritionist - who started the Weston A Price Foundation. Unfortunately, Carl started coughing up blood in early Spring of 2021. Angel was always by his side as this medical odyssey of lung cancer unfolded (Carl had never smoked, either, which seemed so particularly unfair.) Carl needed surgery to remove the lower lobe of his left lung in May 2021. Carl was determined to overcome this problem. In fact, the day after surgery, Carl and Angel walked over a mile in the hospital together. Carl and Angel had so much to look forward to accomplishing together! They were excited to travel to Angel’s property on Miami Beach and also to Nerja, Spain, where Angel had also owned property for many years, along with spending special time at the farm. Farm life had a special place in his heart as well! And Carl was excited about taking Angel back to San Diego to visit family and friends, along with attending Tail Hook and F-14 events. Carl’s excellent surgeon thought that he had gotten it all. But sadly, as time would unveil, Carl’s lung cancer would metastasize. Carl and Angel spent over 2 years fighting this terrible disease together with regular chemo, directed chemo, and immunotherapy treatments. His oncologist said that Carl’s type of cancer had no cure and that he would be on some type of treatment for the rest of his life. But Angel liked to use the term, “a management issue” instead. Life is a terminal condition, no matter how you look at it. But you can choose a positive attitude. Happiness is a choice! Travel was no longer an option, but this wasn’t all that bad, as they were together which was the most important! With a compromised immune system, Angel did everything for Carl. And when things get tough, this is when we all learn what is truly important in life! And Carl was never a complainer. He didn’t want his friends to treat him as a “sick person”, as in Angel’s and Carl’s minds, he was NOT - only considerably blessed with a grateful mindset. Carl’s direct words were, which he wrote to his son, Jeff, on April 8th - 9 days before he passed, “I want everyone who is important to me to know what wonderful care Angel has provided me! She is totally devoted to my needs and wellbeing. I would not be here without her. I am so fortunate and grateful to have her as my partner in these difficult times. She is absolutely wonderful and totally devoted to me. One of Angel’s special friends - Dana Russell - a well known oncology nurse practitioner in Southern Maryland - told me very early in our relationship that Angel was the Real Deal! I already knew this about Angel, but boy was she ever correct!” An important person to both Carl and Angel was Stacy Lancaster - Carl’s neighbor in Annapolis. Stacy helped to provide invaluable support to Carl after Marla’s death, which meant a tremendous amount to both Carl and Angel. And she is also very personally important to Angel, as Stacy has become one of her very closest friends as well. In fact, Stacy provided the most beautiful venue at her home for Carl and Angel’s wedding. And Stacy was Carl’s “Best Man!” Carl and Angel spoke to Stacy every morning during her drive to work, including the day Carl passed. Even though Carl was unable to speak words loud enough for phone conversation, Angel would put the phone “on speaker” so he could hear everything and make comments that Angel could convey to Stacy in their daily conversations. Angel will continue this important way to start the day out “right”. There is no doubt that Carl will be a part of this most positive morning ritual “in spirit” always! Another most important addition to Carl and Angel’s wedding was Peter Stoll. Peter knew Carl on a most personal basis, better than anyone else. Carl was a very private person, but he shared a lot with Peter. They met in the F-14 RAG after his Iran tour when Peter was fresh out of Navair in DC. Peter and Carl were both assigned to VF-211. This worked out very well for both of them as they were best friends and roommates on the Constellation cruise. Since Peter had the first room pick, being senior to all but the CO/XO, Carl and Peter got the very best room together, near the catwalk for easy bottle disposal and steps away from the mid-rats galley (kitchen). There was nobody between them and the best creature comforts of the carrier, and they sure made the best of it! Plus the time they shared brought them much closer together, and they lamented about everything during their “happy hour.” Thus Carl wanted Peter to be an important part of his wedding to Angel, making him the “officiant,” which Peter believed was the ultimate honor - to perform their ceremony. Peter strongly believed, along with many of Carl’s closest friends, that Angel was a gift to Carl from Marla due to divine intervention. Peter’s direct words, “With Angel at his side, I have never seen Carl so happy and content with their lives together. Over the following three years, they were always side by side, deeply in love, to the last minutes of Carl’s wonderful life.” Carl passed away at home on April 17th. He took his last breaths around 4pm. Angel was at his side, holding his hand, and Sweetie Bug - Angel’s 20 year old dog was in his lap. Pipper - Carl’s dog - who became more of Angel’s dog after Marla’s passing - was under his feet. Interestingly, Sweetie Bug - a Maltese and Shihtzu mix - had truly become Carl’s dog (not Angel’s) when he moved to Annapolis from the farm. They were truly inseparable as well. Carl had many other important words to share, “I want to make everyone aware and to advise them to always express how they feel to their loved ones. DO NOT HESITATE to tell the ones that matter how important they are and how much they love them EVERY TIME THEY SEE THEM. Please do not wait, because we know how quickly and unexpectedly life can end.” Angel is very grateful that she was the recipient of this wonderful attitude, as this is what her mother taught her. And Marla taught this to Carl! Carl will be interred at Arlington at a later date. Please check back for updates. Memorial donations may be made in Carl's name to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, 5001 Angel Canyon Rd, Kanab, UT 84741. Online condolences and tributes may be made by using the memories link on the left.