Warren D. Barger
October 25, 1921 – July 4, 2018
With an unshakeable faith in his eternal home, Warren Barger left this life on July 4, 2018 having lived fully every day of his 96 years on Earth. He peacefully passed surrounded by his family with his favorite hymns being played on the piano by special friend, Alesha Elkins. Raised in Rhea County and Chattanooga, Warren went to the South Pacific during World War II, where he served with the 543rd Amphibian Engineers until the end of the war. He then began his business career with Hormel & Company in West Virginia before returning to Chattanooga, where he worked with A&P Insurance Agency until his retirement. He was a faithful member of Red Bank Baptist Church and served in several local churches as an ordained deacon, bi-vocational director of music and youth, and a joyous singer of God's glory.
Warren gave selflessly to his community and church, always seeking to bring the gifts of a cheerful life to others. He organized badminton, volleyball and other sport opportunities in the Chattanooga area for many years. Warren volunteered his time to work with the Red Bank High School track team and helped officiate track & field meets. Warren also volunteered at the Chattanooga Food Bank and on several occasions served as a motivational speaker for classes at ReStart and Southern Adventist University where he would encourage students to keep reaching for their goals. In 1995, Warren received the Distinguished Service Award from the City of Red Bank. In 2014, the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame awarded Warren with the Walt Lauter Lifetime Achievement Award. Warren chaired the committee to organize the Carson-Newman Golf Classic for 25 years and on that final year, family and friends came together to create the Warren D. Barger Hall of Fame Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is still growing and benefiting student athletes at the University today. He received the Booster of the Year Award from Carson-Newman at their Annual Sports Banquet in 2008.
Being a great sports advocate did not hinder Warren from devoting time to his church of nearly 60 years, Red Bank Baptist. When the church constructed their Family Life Center, Warren played an integral part in it’s being built. Upon completion, he volunteered many hours working the desk, organizing events and cheering others on as they used the recreational facility. He was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the Recreation Ministry Committee of Red Bank Baptist Church in 1992. Warren’s love for music had him singing in the choir and with The Prime Time Singers, who would visit local retirement homes and share the love of God through music. Warren spent many Wednesday nights volunteering in the church’s kitchen to prepare meals for church members. One of Warren’s greatest missions was the yearly assembling, packing and shipping of Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Warren's love for a healthy and active lifestyle led him to begin participating in the Senior Olympic Games in 1990. He competed in badminton, volleyball, table tennis, softball, long jump, high jump, pole vault, discus, shot put and the 100 meter dash. Over this 27 year period, Warren won over 150 medals at the Tennessee State Games, while setting 15 records. Warren attended the National Olympics 8 times, participating in badminton and track & field Events. He won over 25 medals and set the National Record in the High Jump in his age group in 2007, 2011 and most recently 2017. In June 2017, Warren was inducted into the Inaugural Tennessee Senior Olympics Hall of Fame.
Warren was never known to speak an ill word about anyone nor was one ever heard about him. Those who knew him are blessed by the beauty of his example and challenged to live our lives lovingly toward one another. This world is a richer place because Warren Barger passed by on his way home.
Warren was married to the love of his life, Alta Smith Barger, for 74 years. She proceeded him in death on February, 14, 2016. Warren is survived by his brother, Joe and wife Louise Barger of Austin, TX; sons David and wife Malinda Barger of Morristown, TN, Don and wife Lisa Barger of Norris, TN; grandchildren, Allyson (Barger) and husband Matt Kilgore of Kingsport, TN, Paul Barger of Morristown, TN, Philip and wife Melissa Barger of Atlanta, GA, Erin (Barger) and husband Jon Rudders of Spokane, WA; great-grandchildren Taylor and Tanner Kilgore, Landon Barger and Alice and Jimmy Rudders; and many special nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express sincere gratitude to Life Care Center, Regency Retirement Village and Avalon Hospice Care, all of Morristown, for the care and concern given to Warren during the past 7 months.
The family extends an invitation to all those who knew Warren to participate in the Celebration of Life Service, WWII Military Salute, and Reception to receive friends to be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018 beginning at 2:00 PM in the Sanctuary of Red Bank Baptist Church, 4000 Dayton Blvd, Chattanooga, TN. Special piano music including Warren’s favorite hymns and a video tribute will begin at 1:30. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Warren D. Barger Hall of Fame Scholarship at Carson-Newman University.
Arrangements for the Barger family have been entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415. (423)877-3524 www.lanefh.com