Remembering Dick Warfield

Former Denton Mayor, Richard “Dick” Warfield, Dies at 91

Richard Tubman “Dick” Warfield, 91, formerly of Denton, MD, died Friday, September 23, 2016 at Heartfields Assisted Living, Easton, MD. Born January 17, 1925 at Brick House Farm in Lisbon, MD, he was the fourth son of the late Bernard Dalrymple Warfield and the late Josephine D’Unger Warfield.

Following graduation from Lisbon High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a Radioman aboard the destroyer USS Richard P. Leary which participated in the invasions of the islands of Saipan, Tinian, Palau, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.The ship also engaged with Japanese warships in the Battles of Surigao Strait and Leyte Gulf earning Dick the WWII Victory Medal, Pacific Theater Ribbon with six stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars and an American Theater Ribbon. Until shortly before his death, he would recall watching from the deck of his ship as the U.S. flag was raised by Marines on Iwo Jima.

After the war, he attended the University of Maryland, graduating in 1950 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. Shortly after graduation he took a position with the Farmers Home Administration making loans to farms on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1953, he married Adelaide Callahan Dunham of Talbot County and resided for 40 years in Denton. Several years after her death in 1994, he married Virginia Merrill and lived in Gainesville, Florida until 2010.

He transitioned from public to private lending in 1961 when he became Farm Specialist and Comptroller of the former Denton National Bank, followed by a long career with the Peoples Bank of Maryland where he retired as Vice President in 1990 and served on the Board of Directors. He was instrumental in guiding the bank through its conversion from manual data operations to computer based operations.

Mr. Warfield was a member of the Denton Town Council and served as the Town Mayor for three terms between 1975 and 1981. He was a member of the Denton Rotary Club, Caroline Country Club, Denton Chamber of Commerce, Choptank River Yacht Club, and volunteered his services as a board member of the Upper Shore Aging Housing Corporation, the Easter Seals Society of Delmarva, and the former Maryland Association for Retarded Children. In his later years after returning from Florida, he volunteered for the Waterfowl Festival.

During retirement he enjoyed his role as Publisher of the newsletter for the USS Richard P. Leary, affectionately known as the “Scuttlebutt”, and participated in reunions throughout the U.S. He also enjoyed boating and fishing on the Choptank River and captaining his trawler along the Choptank River as a volunteer member of the Coast Guard Auxillary. He was also an avid bridge player and loved challenging jigsaw puzzles while living at Heartfields.

Dick is survived by a daughter, Judith Warfield Price of Grasonville, MD (Robert Koenke); a son, Richard Tubman Warfield, Jr. of Denton, MD (Loretta); a granddaughter, Melinda Warfield; four grandsons, Kyle Warfield (Rebecca), Benjamin Warfield (Kristen), R. Reeves Price IV and Andrew Price; and three great-grandchildren, Samantha, Madison and Jackson Warfield. He is also survived by two stepdaughters, Judy Yancey and Janet Merrill of Florida; two stepsons, Stephen Merrill and Christopher Merrill of Florida and South Carolina; one step-grandson, Brian Merrill and two step-granddaughters, Kristen Merrill, Ginny Merrill.

Also surviving Dick are two brothers, Donald Warfield and David Warfield of Lisbon, MD and three sisters, Marie Warmenhoven of Ashburn, VA, Mary Amrhein of Baltimore, MD and Barbara Feaga of Ellicott City, MD. In addition to his two wives, he was predeceased by one step-daughter, Nancy Gail Dunham; two brothers, Bernard Warfield and John Breckenridge Warfield, and two sisters, Jean Culwell and Josephine Johnson.
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A note from the editor...
Many avid readers of The Caroline Review will recognize the significance of this obituary. While the magazine always includes a listing of those within the county who have recently died, it very rarely offers a lengthy obituary like this one. Dick Warfield was the devoted husband of the founder of the Caroline Review, Adelaide Warfield, and the father-in-law of the current publisher, Loretta Warfield. He was also my hero and my dad.

A quiet, selfless man, he taught me many life lessons that I embraced, and a few that I disregarded, at my own peril. Fortunately, I came around in due time.

He exemplified service. Service to country, service to community, and service to family. Though an exceptional, empathetic leader, he never sought to lead, but only to serve. Over the years, many people have shared with me how much they appreciated his help with a startling number of variations. To offer just one example, I recall “helping” him and other community members clear ground for the Caroline Country Club golf course with my child-sized hatchet.

He enjoyed being a part of anything that made things better. Until recently, I wasn’t aware that he was involved in so many community organizations, boards, and councils, many of which are not listed here. When he married my mother, he became an instant father to my disabled half-sister, Gail, which was a big commitment. As mayor of Denton, he poured himself into each challenge always moving toward what was best for his community.

How do you value a life? To shipmates he was “Hank”; to my mother he was a knight in shining armor; to me, the man I wanted to become someday; and to Caroline county, a blessing.

Rich Warfield

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