Dan Warnock Sr., 96, a longtime Sumpter Valley rancher, died Aug. 15, 2003 at St. Elizabeth Care Center.
His graveside service will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Sumpter Cemetery. There will be a memorial service afterward at 4 p.m. at the McEwen Community Church. Family and friends are invited to a beef barbeque afterward at the church.
Dan was born on Jan. 30, 1907, at Joseph to Dan W. and Mariah Mortensen Warnock. He was the youngest of nine children.
He was raised on the family cattle and horse ranch on Crow Creek in Wallowa County. His schooling included the Elk Mountain one- room school, Joseph and then Wallowa High School, where he played on the 1924 championship football team. He graduated in 1925.
The breeding of fine thoroughbreds was a passion of his father. Dan rode in many race meets and county fairs throughout Northeastern Oregon as a very young jockey.
After high school, he moved to the Willamette Valley and attended Eugene Business College. A teacher at a local small school caught Dan’s fancy and on June 30, 1929, Dan and Alice Brown were married. The union that lasted 73 years until Alice’s death a year ago.
Dan worked various jobs including 11 years at the Eugene Farmers Creamery. He always wanted to return to ranching in Eastern Oregon, so Dan traded and raised livestock in order to accumulate enough equity to buy his own place. In 1946, he and Alice were able to purchase a small place in Sumpter Valley and start a cattle ranch. They lived there 56 years.
Dan believed in living every day. In addition to building and working his ranch, he took time to take hunting trips, do lots of fishing (later he did this horseback), enjoy his horses and dogs and work with kids. He led the Powder River Wranglers 4-H Livestock Club for 23 years.
Many folks enjoyed the winter horse-drawn hay rides on his bob-sled or “mule bus.” Dan and Alice fostered a niece through high school, were hosts for foreign exchange students and kept Navajo Indians for a work-study program. He was a role model for many young folks, and fondly called “Pa” by many friends and family. In later life, he and Alice took many trips, touring both in this country and internationally.
He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, the McEwen Masonic Lodge and the county and state livestock associations. He was the 1969 state of Oregon, “Father of the Year.” He has received the Diamond Jubilee excellence in agriculture award from Oregon State University and was nominated several times for the “Old Hand” award at the Haines Fourth of July celebration.
Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Jo Warnock; son, Edward Warnock; grandchildren Dan, Randy, Terri and Cindy Warnock, Jan Klarquist and Robin Ostby; and nine great- grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Baker County Livestock Producers Foundation (a scholarship fund for qualifying Baker County students), through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 22, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor