Timothy M. Warren, 89

Timothy M. Warren

TOPSHAM — Timothy Matlack Warren, 89, died peacefully on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at his home in Topsham, surrounded by his wife and family.

Tim was born on Dec. 9, 1923 in New Canaan, Conn., the son of Keith Faulkner Warren and Barbara Matlack Warren. Tim was raised in New Canaan and then in Lovell, where his family moved in 1930, seeking a simpler and more tranquil lifestyle.

The next 11 years of Tim’s life were among his most memorable. He spoke often of his charmed childhood during the Great Depression, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse, Lovell Village Grammar School, and where he began a football team. Tim once wrote that he and his brother had been given a football, “Not just a football, but the only football in Lovell! At this point, our stock went up on the recess dirt field.”

With the help of his father, who ran the family publishing company in Boston, Timmy Warren was one of three young editors of The Lovell News, a bi-weekly publication of all Lovell happenings, which was sold by annual subscription for a $1.50. As sports editor, Timmy Warren reported news such as “Fryeburg beat Lovell school (which the three editors go to) in football. The score was 78 (ahem) to 6. Quite a close game.” Tim recently described The Lovell News as “the amusing and delightful account of the real life of a small Maine village in the 1930s as experienced and reported by three young boys.” These childhood years became the source of material for his lifelong joy of telling tall tales and jokes in a thick Maine accent.

After attending Fryeburg Academy, Tim entered Bowdoin College as a member of the Class of 1945. This began an enduring commitment to Bowdoin. Tim was elected to one of the governing boards as an Overseer of the College in 1985 and elected Overseer emeritus in 1991. In 1992, he was given Bowdoin’s Alumni Service Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Council. Through the fall of 2012, Tim could still be spotted on the Bowdoin campus at musical performances, lectures or sporting events.

During World War II, Tim served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. On Aug. 14, 1946, he married the former Phyllis Faber of Essex Fells, N.J., whom he had met and courted during the summer of 1942, while she was working at Camp Mudjekeewis on Lake Kezar in Lovell. Tim and his young bride spent two years living in Brunswick, while he completed his degree at Bowdoin. In 1948, the couple moved to Somerville, Mass. and Tim joined his father working in the family publishing business, then known as Warren Publications. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him, Tim rose through the ranks to become president. From 1975 to 1988, he served as publisher of the company’s flagship publication, Banker & Tradesman, overseeing its rapid growth in circulation and reputation as the Bible of the real estate industry in Massachusetts. In 1988, he proudly handed over management of the company, now known as The Warren Group, to his son, Timothy M. Warren, Jr., a member of the fourth generation of Warrens to run the family enterprise.

Tim Sr. was uniformly admired by his employees for his warmth and compassion (and his trademark bow tie!). He had a friendly and supportive interest in the work of each member of his staff, offering encouragement and motivation to deliver excellence.

In 1950, Tim and Phyllis moved their young family to Concord, Mass., where they raised their children and immersed themselves in church and community affairs. Tim served his town in many volunteer capacities, including serving on the Town Report Committee, as a trustee and chairman of the Concord Free Public Library, as a director for the Friends of the Performing Arts in Concord, and director of the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts. Tim and Phyllis were active in the American Field Service and welcomed three foreign students into their home and hearts. Tim and Phyllis were named Concord’s Honored Citizens for 1995. Tim was a well-loved member of the Social Circle in Concord, an esteemed social organization of distinguished citizens of Concord that dates back to 1794. Tim was an active member of the First Parish in Concord, where for 39 years he sang bass with great passion and joy in the church choir. He served as chairman of the Standing Committee, trustee of Parish Investments, Parish secretary and Parish moderator, in addition to numerous other church committees and positions.

Throughout Tim’s life, whether he was working on town, church or college committees, or in his role as a business leader, Tim was a facilitator, bringing people together in calm, rational, and at times humorous, discourse. He said it himself at age 11 when he editorialized on “Cooperation” in The Lovell News. He wrote, “Cooperation is not only two people working together, but they must be willing and cheerful about it. Each person must lift his corner in the great game of life. We would not have any great football teams if it were not for cooperation. We would not have any well-organized clubs or towns either.” Little did Tim know at the age of 11 that he would lift more than his share of a corner in this great game of life, and that so many people would be the beneficiaries of his efforts. He always put family first and relished wearing the many hats of father, son, grandfather and great-grandfather, and was perhaps happiest when his extended family joined him on vacations in exciting locales.

In January Tim was diagnosed with a progressive blood disorder called Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Despite declining mobility, he enjoyed a good quality of life in his final months, making it out to spend Thanksgiving dinner with family, including his great-grandchildren in Camden.

In addition to his wife of 66 years, Phyllis Faber Warren, and his three children, Timothy Matlack Warren, Jr. of Cambridge, Mass., Elizabeth Faulkner Warren-White of South Freeport and Peter Grenelle Warren of Camden, Tim leaves six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; three AFS “children”; several cousins, nieces and nephews; numerous god children and countless friends.

A memorial service in celebration of Tim’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 4 at First Parish, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, Mass.

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