Tribute to my Father, Warren Kenneth Stratton (1933 – 2012)

Dear Two Handed Warrior Community,

I am too overwhelmed to write much now, but I wanted to explain why it has been quite awhile since my last post.

On June 4 I arrived in Bedford, New Hampshire after doctors informed our family that my father’s pulmonary fibrosis was advancing so rapidly he might have as few as two days to live.

He made it twelve beautiful, but heartbreaking days of affection and prayer.  This morning we buried him in the Bedford town cemetery after half the town turned out for his visitation and poignant memorial service.

My family put together this tribute to dad.  I will write more later and try to get our back-logged guest posts up and running, but I wanted to share a bit of his life with you.

Grateful for your prayers and support,

Gary David Stratton, Senior Editor

 

TRIBUTE

Warren Kenneth Stratton

Warren Kenneth Stratton, 78, of Bedford, NH, pioneering aerospace leader who retired to become a pastor to New England’s pastors, died June 15, 2012 after a brief illness.
 Warren was born in Boise, Idaho on December 5, 1933, and married the love of his life, Joan Baker in Richland, WA in 1953. They raised four children in Media, PA and have twelve grandchildren.

Warren served in the U.S. Army and graduated from the University of Washington School of Engineering, where he later taught as an adjunct faculty member.

After working on Boeing’s original pre-Sputnik space shuttle program (code-named “Dinosaur”) in Seattle, WA, Warren moved to Boeing’s Vertol division in Philadelphia, PA. He became one of the world’s leading experts on field safe fiberglass helicopter rotor blade design, and project manager for the iconic twin-rotor Sea Knight Navy and Coast Guard rescue helicopters, responsible for the saving of countless lives.

In 1982, Joan and Warren moved to Westlake Village / Thousand Oaks, California, where Warren helped spear-head the creation of the Army’s famous Apache attack helicopters for Hughes Aircraft, and later became vice president of Northrop-Grumman’s Newbury Park division responsible for much of the Air Force’s cutting-edge stealth technology.

A truly remarkable engineering leadership career preceded an even more impressive mentoring ministry

Warren and Joan retired to Bedford, NH in 1995, where they became beloved pillars of the Bethany Covenant Church, serving the congregation in numerous capacities. In “retirement” Warren volunteered as a trustee and consultant to numerous non-profit ministries and churches. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia, past president of Vision New England and founder of Leadership Transformations at Gordon-Conwell seminary described Warren as “a minister to New England’s ministers.”

Warren will be remembered as a warm and loving husband, father, grandfather, leader, and friend who could always be relied upon for his compassionate listening, straight-shooting advice, and off-beat sense of humor.

 He loved golf, tennis, bridge, chess, photography, poetry, suspense novels, and hard-hitting non-fiction.

A romance of over 60 years

Other than his God, his wife, and his family and friends, Warren’s greatest love was spending time at his cabin on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, where he could be found with a fishing pole in hand, a broad grin on his face, and a gentle admonition to always “be safe.”

He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Family members include his wife of 59 years, Joan (Baker) Stratton of Bedford; two sons, Gary David Stratton and his wife Sue of Hollywood, CA, Scott Stratton and wife Kerstin of Bedford, NH; two daughters, Laurie Stratton Bruns and husband John of Lafayette, CA; Diane Stratton Dunkle and husband Steve of Bedford, NH; as well as his beloved grandchildren—Dan and Leslie Stratton and Christopher and Patrick Dunkle of Bedford; Alex Jones, Melissa, Jessica, and Tylor Bruns of Lafayette, CA and Ashley, Jordan, Joshua, Micaiah Stratton of Hollywood, CA; nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Click here for slideshow of pictures from Dad’s remarkable life (at bottom of page).