Clinton Warner was put to rest at Morehouse College Friday, July 6, with a fitting service that paralleled his legacy and genius. One of our early doctors and a civil rights activist, Clinton Ellsworth Warner Jr. was nearly 88 years of age.
Born on the campus of Morehouse College on July 11, 1924, the deceased was remembered by Eulogist Dr. Otis Moss Jr. or Cleveland, Ohio, as one who gave a “positive message of being thankful for Dr. Warner’s life and journey.” He was also remembered for his smile, judgment and listening skills.
Speaking at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m., Warner’s great-nephew praised the deceased as one who taught him to play chess, sail a boat, and inspired him. Robert “DJ” Smith II also said Dr. Warner played the piano and loved animals, usually dogs and cats. “He played fearless and you got goose bumps,” Smith added, who thought his uncle was “great.” An emotional Smith said Warner always believed in him.
Moss, Senior Pastor Emeritus at the Mt. Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, praised the deceased as “a soldier who left his legacy on us all.”
He was “a person of genius who gave us a positive message,” Dr. Moss said, adding that Warner was “a fruitful tree whose branches stretched beyond the walls of life.” He never allowed himself to be content and he fought on two fronts. Moss also remembered the deceased as “unpretentious and profound, but yet respectful and never bitter. He had infectious humility and was a person of quality.” Moss said the deceased’s “fruits will continue to grow beyond the wall.”
Remembered as “a giant of a man in medicine and the community,” Dr. Warner’s “was a responsibility, opportunity and gift, who constantly shared and was a giver,” Moss added. He praised him as “a man of excellence who walked in the road of leaders and not above them.”
The deceased “lived life as a mighty oak tree planted by water where his branches stretched over the water,” Moss said. Dr. Warner lived according to prayer and compromise, continued Moss, who added, “his fruits will provide for many generations to come.”Old and New Testament was rendered by Rev. Dr. Juel Pate Borders and Dr. James McCoy, with music by Mrs. Hank (Billye) Aaron, who sang “Over the Rainbow,” accompanied by musician Bill Odum; soloist Pamela Dillard and Miya Mitchell, accompanied at the piano by John B. Smith Jr., Warner’s godchild. Other soloists were Oliver Sueing, Ralph Freeman and Sam Hagan, accompanied by Harding Epps Jr,, with the processional and recessional by Trey Clegg.
Affiliated with several organizations, Dr. Clinton Warner was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and a surgeon professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, which he helped found, and chief of surgery at Southwest Community Hospital. Dr. Warner was also chairman of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority and chair of the Hughes Spalding Committee. He also served as college professor and director of the McVicar Infirmary at Spelman College for 35 years. The deceased was a founding member of The Atlanta Inquirer and was a charter member of the board of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia.
He served as president of the Georgia State Medical Association from 1964 to 1975 and as president and treasurer of the Atlanta Medical Association in 1962. He also served as Chairman Emeritus of Mutual Federal Association Bank and a board member of Blue Cross/Blue Shield Inc. of Atlanta, the Atlanta Life Insurance Co. He was a professor of Preventive Medicine at Emory University.Dr. Warner married the late Marybelle Reynolds Warner and they had one son, Clinton E. “Trey” Warner III. He later married Sally Johnson who remained devoted to him for 45 years.
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his granddaughter, Monique Warner; niece, Shauna Smith of Tallahassee, Fla.; a great-nephew, Robert “DJ” Smith II; great niece, Sejal Smith; a devoted cousin, Margaret Douthard; and several godchildren, Pamela Smith, Lori Smith, and John B. Smith Jr.
He was buried at Westview Cemetery. Murray Brothers Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.