Father’s Day Week Tribute to my Father, Warren K. Stratton (1933 – 2012)

It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years today since my father’s home going just before Father’s Day 2012. Here is one of his most memorable quotes:  

“Everyone says, ‘Good ethics are good business.’ But if you do something ethical that helps your business it means only that you’re savvy at reading your customers. The only way to know for sure if a decision is motivated purely by good ethics is when it is bad for business. If you still do it, then you’re ethics really are more important than than your bottom-line. Otherwise, you’re just misleading your customers …and yourself.”

-Warren K. Stratton, University of Washington School of Engineering


Here’s the tribute I wrote from our family’s recollections three long years ago.

Don’t forget to call your father today,

-Gary David Stratton, Senior Editor



Warren Stratton, c. 2012

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.

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

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.

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.”

A romance of over 60 years

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.

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, especially his wife of 59 years, Joan (Baker) Stratton, four children and twelve grandchildren.