Joseph A. Warder, 88, of Ona Street, Grafton, passed away Saturday (July 8, 2017) at Mon General Hospital in Morgantown.
He was born March 4, 1929, to the late Charles Edward and Mary Catherine "Kitty" (Smith) Warder.
He was a lifelong resident of Grafton and a member of the GHS Class of 1947.
Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Mary Kathryn "Kate" (McCoy) Warder.
He is survived by his four children, Mary Jane (Grey) Peppler of Tampa, Florida, Nancy Jo (David) White of Berkeley Springs, Charles Franklin (Michelle) Warder of Huntington; Oran Edward (Barbara) Warder of Alexandria, Virginia; as well as seven grandchildren, Kristie House, Land O Lakes, Florida, Jackie Holbert, Bridgeport, Ben Warder, Martinsburg, Emily (Chad) Robinson, Charleston, Zachary, Griffin and Wesley Warder all of Alexandria, Virginia.
In addition, he leaves five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Also surviving is his brother, Floren Warder of Grafton; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He will also be greatly missed by his dear friend and caregiver, Jean Tacy of Grafton.
He loved and served his family. He loved and served God and his church. He loved and served the many Masonic organizations to which he belonged. After his retirement following a 36-year career with the C&P Telephone Company, his commitment to these three loves only increased. He was never happier than when the family was gathered. He received great joy from the community of St. Matthias Episcopal Church, and he was strengthened by his many friendships within the Masonic community. All of these institutions he served with his characteristic faithfulness and humility. He believed that his life was full of blessings and those blessings were meant to be shared.
At St. Matthias Church, he served in every leadership position possible (and often multiple times): senior and junior warden, treasurer, lay reader, lay Eucharistic minister, pastoral visitor and for over two decades served as a delegate to Diocesan Convention. In 2004, he received the Shell Award from the Bishop of West Virginia, the highest honor awarded to lay members and given to those who have made notable efforts to improve their church and community.
In the Masonic Community, he was a member of Grafton Lodge No. 15 AF&AM (past master and 50-year-member); Scottish Rite Mason Valley of Clarksburg (32nd degree mason): Copestone Chapter No.12 Royal Arch Masons (past high priest); Demolay Commandry No.11 Knights Templar (past eminent commander); Taylor County Shrine Club (past president); Knights of The York Cross of Honour West Virginia Priory No. 40; and the Order of Eastern Star, Naomi Chapter No. 12.
In addition to his parents and cherished wife, he was preceded in death by three brothers.
Joe enjoyed watching sports, especially football, and for 32 years served as a volunteer line crewman (C&P Chain Gang) for Grafton Bearcat home games. He loved to hunt, fish, garden and repair things in his home workshop. One to always recognize the creator in the creation, he enjoyed the outdoors, camping, walking in the woods and sitting around an open fire, especially at his treasured Big Bear Lake campsite in Preston County. He was an advocate for simple living, recycling and caring for the environment long before it was fashionable.
His constant smile, infectious laugh, calm manner, and joyful attitude, not to mention his penchant for story-telling, will be missed by many friends and family.
The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. until the funeral Friday at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton. Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with The Reverend Fred Bird officiating. Interment will follow at the Woodsdale Memorial Park Cemetery in Grafton. Masonic graveside services will be conducted by the Grafton Lodge No. 15 AF&AM. Online condolences www.donaldgfordfuneralhome.com.
Published on July 11, 2017