Warren Waltrip


BYRON – Warren Waltrip, age 83, of Bryon, formerly of Thomson, Ill., died on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at home surrounded by his loving family.  

A visitation was held from 4-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Thomson. A funeral service was held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Thomson. Cremation Rites accorded following the service. Burial of his cremated remains will take place in Lower York Cemetery, Thomson, at a later date. Memorials may be given to Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon Illinois, or the York Community Church, Thomson in Warren’s memory. Family and friends are invited to share in Warren’s life at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.

Warren was born on Sept. 30, 1934, the son of Paul and Anna Belle (Rives) Waltrip in Wrights, Illinois.  He attended high school at Effingham Community High School.  He later earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Drafting from the American Institute of Drafting.  He married Clara Belle Minor on April 17, 1952. Clara died during childbirth in 1953. He later married Mary Lou Cate on June 23, 1956 in Thomson. Mary died on June 18, 2004. 

As a young man, Warren began working at the Savanna Army Depot, where he met his first wife, Clara. He later owned and operated café’s and restaurants in Fulton and Rock Falls, Illinois. Warren was a draftsman for several companies throughout his life. He was instrumental in designing and supervising construction at local hospitals, churches, schools, and restaurants. Warren began his drafting career with Curtis Brothers & Co. in Clinton, Iowa and later worked for Clinton Corn Processing for nearly 30 years. After Clinton Corn, Warren worked for Schmeling Construction Company in Rockford and then as a construction supervisor for Richard L. Johnson Associates in Rockford, Illinois. He also worked for Kraft Foods on a building project in Miami, Fla., before fully retiring in 2008. 

Warren was a longtime member of the York Community Church, Thomson. Warren also served as past President of the American Institute of Design Drafting and was an honorary member of the Institute of Draftsmen, Australia. Warren was an amazing artist, but mostly he loved painting with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints. He designed and built many sets for Thomson theater and musical productions, including Showboat, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, and Guys and Dolls. Warren loved to travel and enjoyed spending time outdoors golfing, gardening and growing flowers. Most of all, Warren cherished spending time with his family and friends.

Warren will be dearly missed by two children, Laurie Waltrip Ryznyk of Millersville, Mo., and Rodney (Rebecca) Waltrip of Stillman Valley; a dear friend and companion, Dorothy Jackson; two grandchildren, Lindsey (Evan) Burgstahler of Chicago, and Erin (Tyler) Micenheimer of South Lyon, Mich.; two great grandchildren, Lily Grace and Charles Grant; one brother, Richard “Joe” (Sue) Waltrip of Columbia, Tenn.; and one sister, Mary Ann (Larry) Stout of Monkey Island, Okla. 

Warren was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Clara Belle, and their daughter, Karen Elaine; his second wife, Mary, and their son, Steven Christopher; and one sister, Elizabeth Waltrip.

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