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Rev. Charles Warnock, minister, pilot, World War II hero, passes at age 103

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Featured Rev. Charles Warnock Photo courtesy of Facebook Rev. Charles Warnock

Reverend Charles Herman Warnock, Jr., 103, passed from this life into life everlasting on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Coffee Regional Medical Center. Reverend Warnock was born in Chamblee, Georgia on January 26, 1920, to the late Jane Marguerite Callaham Warnock and the late Charles Herman Warnock, Sr.



Reverend Warnock is survived by a son, Charles H. Warnock, III (Debbie) of Chatham, VA; four granddaughters – Laurie Schmotzer (Steve) of Simpsonville, SC; Amy Boliba of Columbia, TN; Rebekah Rucker (Adam) of Raleigh, NC; and Rachel Mercer (Brandon) of Winston-Salem, NC. He also leaves 13 great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Charles was predeceased by his wife, Marilyn; his son, Dana; and, his second wife, Lola.



Charles grew up in Millen, Georgia. He attended South Georgia College where he trained as a pilot, and then joined the Army Air Corps when World War II started. While a student at South Georgia College he met Marilyn Kirkland. They married in 1944 and were blessed with two sons. Charles was a loving father and grandfather who particularly enjoyed telling corny jokes, which made his grandchildren laugh. Charles and Marilyn were married for 49 years until she passed away suddenly in 1993. In 1996, Charles married Lola Wilson of Douglas, and they enjoyed 24 years together until Lola’s passing in 2020.



During World War II, Lt. Warnock flew C-47 transports, ferrying paratroopers into combat, and supplying the Allied Command headquarters on Gibraltar. He piloted the first American aircraft to land in Algiers during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. After many successful missions in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Europe, Charles was transferred to Sedalia, MO, where he trained C-47 pilots. Captain Warnock served in the Air Force Reserves until he was honorably discharged in 1959. Charles also served in the Civil Air Patrol in South Georgia and was a certified flight instructor until he was 92. Among the many recognitions he received was a resolution passed in 2018 by the Georgia Legislature commending his military service and his faithful example as a Baptist minister.



After World War II, Charles graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree. He worked for the Griffin newspaper, and later the Agricultural Experiment Station in Griffin, GA. While in Griffin, Charles felt God’s call to serve as a minister of education in Baptist churches. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX in 1953. He was a consultant for the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, TN; and a minister of education in churches in Texas, Tennessee, and Georgia. Charles also served as area missionary, and as interim pastor for several churches in South Georgia.



A minister for 72 years, Charles loved the Lord and loved talking with people. When he and Lola moved to Lakeside Senior Living in 2018, Charles began a Tuesday afternoon Bible study for residents which he led until the end of 2022. Charles was featured in the Coffee County magazine and local newspaper for his military service and his Tuesday Bible studies at Lakeside.



Memorial gifts may be given to First Baptist Church of Douglas, GA. The family wishes to thank the staff at Lakeside Senior Living, Coffee Regional Medical Center, Bethany Hospice, Sims Funeral Home, Reverend Don Hattaway, the staff and members of First Baptist Church, and many others for their care for and kindness to Charles and his family over the years.



The funeral service for Reverend Warnock will be conducted by Reverend Don Hattaway and Bro. Shep Johnson at the First Baptist Church of Douglas, on Friday, March 24, at 2 PM, with B.J. Holiday leading the congregation in song with “Rock of Ages”, “It Will Be Worth It All”, and “Because He Lives”. Marsha Gilliard will accompany as the pianist. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 23 from 6PM until 8PM at Sims Funeral Home. Charles will be buried with military honors beside Marilyn Kirkland Warnock, his wife of 49 years, at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Tifton, Georgia.



The obituary was submitted by the family.



Sims Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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