Mr. David Leon Warden 83, of Gloucester, formerly of Lynn and Swampscott, died Saturday at a nursing facility in Virginia where he was recovering from a stroke. He was the devoted husband to Marie J. Warden, with whom he shared nearly 55 years of marriage.
David was born in Lynn, son of the late David Warden and Amy (Lunden) Warden. He moved to Swampscott in 1968 and to Gloucester in 1996. David graduated from Lynn Classical High School, Class of 1947, where he was class president in his Junior and Senior years and played football and basketball. He was a member of the historic Lynn Classical Eleven football team that upset the 1946 Orange Bowl in Miami by beating Granby High of Norfolk VA breaking their 33-game winning streak. He played along side Lynn football and baseball legend Harry Agganis and other great Lynn athletes. He was inducted into the Lynn Classical Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 for those achievements and his outstanding contributions to the Lynn community.
He went on to Harvard University where his sports accolades continued receiving three varsity letters for football and basketball, and in one Harvard-Yale football game he was credited with catching the longest pass for a touchdown in the series at that time. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in Government, Class of 1951.
Upon graduating from Harvard, Warden received an invitation to play for the Los Angeles Rams, but instead enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Korea from 1951 to 1953 where he saw combat and attained the rank of Captain. In 1958, he graduated from Boston University Law School and began practicing law at the firm of Hannan and Mayo. Later he opened his own legal practice on Union Street in Lynn where he worked until his retirement in May 2011. He served three terms on the Lynn School Committee beginning in 1961. He was involved with a number of Lynn civic organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Greater Lynn Family and Children's Services, the Harry Agannis Foundation. He also served on the board trustees for Eastern Bank.
David was an avid sports enthusiast and athlete into his later years. He loved his New England teams. Confident he would see the Red Sox win a World Championship in his lifetime, his loyalty for the team never waivered. He played golf at the Tedesco Country Club for a number of years and loved to take his family skiing in Maine and New Hampshire. He played basketball daily at the Lynn YMCA into his sixties giving men half his age a run for their money.
A food gourmand and known for his love of North Shore and Cape Anne restaurants, he was always in search of the best fried clams, the tastiest clam chowder or the best ice cream ever. He and Marie loved to host big Sunday and holiday dinners opening their house and hearts to friends and family from all over the world. They were ardent museum goers and movie enthusiasts. They also travelled to visit friends and their children to places all over the world including Sweden, England, Thailand, Egypt, Trinidad, California and Virginia. David was also an avid reader, especially of history books, and his daily routine included reading The Boston Globe, the Lynn Item and the Gloucester Times. Both he and his wife Marie treasured their home in Gloucester bordering Ravenswood Reservation and overlooking Stage Fort Park with a stunning view of the harbor. David loved the ocean and never lived far from it. He swam daily during the summers into his seventies.
David was a humble, honest, sincere and quiet guy. His love for his family manifested in many ways as he supported six children through college and attended numerous sporting and school activities and graduations of his children and grandchildren. He was always there for his wife, children, extended family and friends when needed for sage advice, support and encouragement through the best and most difficult times. Upon hearing of the news of David's death an outpouring of prayers and support were received by the Warden family from friends all over including alms made to monks in Thailand on his behalf. A candle was lit for David in the Canary Islands and dear family friends from Sweden wrote that they still make Dave's famous egg salad recipe.
In addition to his loving and committed wife, David is survived by his six devoted children including daughters Amy Whittenberg and her Husband Ted of Hamilton, Elizabeth Warden of Gloucester, Rachel Warden of New York City, Jessica Yutacom and her husband Nit of Annandale, VA, Toby Warden of Alexandria, VA, and son David Warden of San Francisco, CA. He is also survived by four beloved grandchildren who knew him as Grandpa Dave: Leland and Sam Woodcox, Sonny Loorkhoor and Nareerat Yutacom and his dear Cousin Jean King of Peabody. He also leaves behind two Labrador retrievers who will miss him.
A Funeral Service for David will be held in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 135 Lafayette Street, Marblehead on Saturday at 11:30AM. Interment will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends are invited. Visiting Hours in the Cuffe-McGinn Funeral Home, 157 Maple Street, Lynn on Friday from 3-7PM. Memorial contributions in Mr. Warden's name may be made to the Alumni & Friends of Lynn Classical High School, 235 O'Callaghan Way, Lynn, MA 01905.