SUMTER -- Edward Louis Warmoth, 93, resigned all his earthly commitments to meet his maker just before dawn on Jan. 2, 2008, after a brief stay at Toumey Hospital in Sumter, S.C. Against the wishes of the many who loved him, he left us for his well-deserved eternal rest. Louis, son of the late James Richard and Fanny Belle Campbell Warmoth, was born in Sharon, S.C., on Dec. 26, 1915 and grew up in Chester, S.C. He was married for 69 years to his late wife, Margaret James Warmoth, who preceded him on April 13, 2005.
Louis was educated in the Chester Schools, where he graduated at the top of his class and began a lifelong quest for learning. A noted historian, genealogist and biblical scholar, Louis was broadly read and expanded his knowledge continuously throughout his life. At age 80, he eagerly learned to use computers to communicate with his wide network of friends and access the tremendous wealth of information available on the Internet.
After beginning his 45 year career with Carolina Coca Cola Bottling Company in Chester in 1935, Louis transferred briefly to Lake City and then to Sumter in 1940. In 1970, he transferred back to Chester as District Manager with plants in Chester and Lancaster, but maintained his residence in his adopted home of Sumter, where he returned weekly. After retiring at age 65, Louis began his second career with Chester County Schools as Job Placement Counselor and Industrial Liaison, during which he served as Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the SC Vocational Association and was selected Outstanding Job Placement Coordinator in 1985 and Outstanding Educator for 1986 by the SC Vocational Association. Louis retired again in 1990 and returned to live in Sumter full time. He liked to say he then began his last and favorite career as a personal trainer at the Sumter YMCA, which he enjoyed until just weeks before his death.
Mr. Warmoth served valiantly with the 30th, 36th, and 63rd Infantry Divisions as a Platoon Sergeant in the European Theater of World War II and received numerous combat decorations including the Expert Infantry Badge, four Bronze Stars for heroism and four purple hearts for combat injuries. He was a proud member of the 63rd Infantry Association and maintained close contact with his comrades throughout his life.
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Community service was central to the life of Mr. Warmoth, with contributions too many to enumerate. He gave generously of his time to a broad range of organizations in both of his home towns of Chester and Sumter.
In Chester, he served as President of Chester High Booster Club, Chester Toastmasters Club, Industrial Managers Club, Chester County Historical Society (and Curator of the Museum) and the Chester Merchants Association. He served on the Boards of Directors of Dixie Youth Baseball, United Way (and Campaign Director), Habitat for Humanity, Chester County Literary Council, the Teen Pregnancy Council, Chester County Mental Health Association, and the Salvation Army. He acted as Chairman of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, the Chester Rotary Club, the Chester County Public Relations Committee and the Multi-Disciplinary Committee on Child Abuse.
In Sumter, he acted as President of The Sumter County Historical Society, Chairman of the Sumter County Historical Commission, Board Member Afro-American Cultural Society, Commander of Post 15 American Legion, Commander of District 11, South Carolina American Legion, Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and Chairman of the Dingles Mill Battle Ground Oversight Committee. Additionally, he was an active member of Sumter Palmetto Rotary Club, SC American Legion Boy Scouts of America, PGT Beauregard Camp 1258 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Matthew Singleton Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, General Thomas Sumter Statue Committee, Friends of Swan Lake Committee, Sumter County Genealogical Society, Christian Business Mens Committee, a life member of the American Legion Post 15 and various other military organizations. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church for over 60 years, where he served on the Board for 3 terms and taught adult and youth Sunday School for over 40 years.
Recently Louis was honored for over 80 years in scouting to which he devoted special attention over the years. He was involved in scouting before he came to Sumter in 1940 and quickly got involved as assistant then Cub Master at 1st Presbyterian Church. When he later joined Trinity United Methodist Church, Mr. Warmoth served as Cub Master for 17 years. In recent years, Louis has served on the Boy Scout Council and Scouting Chairman for Post 15 American Legion. He has been awarded the God and Country Award, Silver Beaver, Palmetto Award, Outstanding Commissioner Award, the Spark Plug Award, the Trainers Key and the Trainers Award. He was recently named to Henry Shelor District Scouting Hall of Fame and Boy Scout Hall of Fame.
In recognition of his service, Louis received many awards, the most noteworthy of which were Rotary Paul Harris Fellow (1988 and 2008), YMCA Humanitarian of the Year, 2008 Rotarian of the Year, and a South Carolina Legislature Resolution for outstanding community service.
Louis was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his oldest daughter, Patricia Warmoth Cook; his great-granddaughter, Sara Anne Garrity; his brothers, Hennis and Jack; and his sisters, Betty and Barbara; and two infant siblings.
Among the hundreds who loved him, Louis is survived by his children, Louis Jr., Meg and husband, Tommy, Frank and wife, Zoe, and Pat's husband, Tommy; his grandchildren, Wrenn Cook Barber and husband, Kevin, Tommy Cook, James Warmoth and wife, Crystal, Anna Warmoth, Holly Jackson Garrity and husband, Tim, Katie Jackson Atolli and husband, Paul and Thomas Player; great-grandchildren, Mary Katherine and Maggie Garrity, Corinne Barber, Jake Warmoth and Ellie Atolli; and a loving extended family of nieces, nephews and in-laws. He is survived by his sisters, Juanita Robinson of Rock Hill, Lorene Dabney of Chester, Peggy Propst of Concord, N.C., and Margie Wilson of Fort Myers, Fla. Louis will especially miss lunches with his favorite band of Desperate Housewives.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Stephen Taylor. Burial will be in the Sumter Cemetery. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the American Legion Post 15.
The family will receive friends and relatives from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and other times at Meg and Tommy Player's house, 729 Creekside Drive, Sumter, S.C.
Memorials may be made to the American Legion Post 15, 28 Artillery Drive, Sumter, SC 29150; Salvation Army, P.O. Box 2229 Sumter, SC 29151; or Trinity United Methodist Church in Sumter, 226 W. Liberty St., Sumter, SC 29150.
Online condolences may be sent to www.sumterfunerals.com
Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad St., Sumter is in charge of the arrangements, 803-775-9386.