Compiled and read by Jim White, June 17, 2021
Jim is here today with his daughter, Ann, from Fredericksburg, VA, and his daughter, Susan, and her husband, Henry, from Gypsum, Colorado. Jim’s wife Bev is at home watching on the zoom link.
His Rotary classification is Waterworks Equipment Distribution. Jim is President, Retired, of Waterworks Sales Company.
Jim was born in Denver on April 16, 1934 and was Colorado educated, attending Steele Elementary, Byers Junior High School, and South High School. Well, there he was a Highlander Boy obtaining the top rank of Colonel and the Order of Demolay as Past Master Councilor.
He earned a BS in Business at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1956. While at CU, Jim was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he was a roommate of Robert Redford. They have remained close friends to this day. Jim, that and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Jim was active in many sports. He wrestled in both high school and college and earned varsity letters in wrestling at CU. He even returned to the Buffs Alumni Wrestling Team in 1973-1975 where he was team president.
Following graduation from CU, Jim immediately joined the United States Marine Corps, serving two years active duty and four years inactive reserves. Jim told me that when he enlisted, he was too short to qualify so the recruiting officer asked him to stand on his tiptoes, and as soon as he reached the bar, he was pushed on through.
Because of his education, the Marines wanted Jim to go to OCS and become an officer, but Jim wanted to remain an enlisted man, so he did, and he later retired at the rank of Corporal. Assigned to the 37th Headquarters Squadron of the 3rd Marine Air Wing in El Toro California, Jim was in charge of dispersing the payroll all up and down the West Coast.
Jim and I go way back to long before we even knew each other. Our fathers were Rotarians and business owners in Denver. They were friends and did work for each other for years. Waterworks Sales Company and Denver Machine Shop needed each other so when Jim and I took over our fathers businesses, we naturally became close friends as well. Our careers were similar and we both had brothers in our businesses which always complicates the issue. We always had a lot to talk about and our wives Bev and Lee were naturally close friends, dealing with husbands in a family business. We were both active and participated in our respective trade organizations and civic organizations, serving as directors, presidents, and so forth. Jim, when I read our resumes, I wonder how we ever had time to run our businesses. Jim has also kept himself busy and active in the Republican Party, his Church, and is a 32° Mason Scottish/Rite and El Jabel Shriner.
But we are here today to honor you, Jim, for your 50 years of service to our Denver Rotary Club 31, and Rotary International. Believe me, there are only a few who can match your record.
Jim joined Rotary in February, 1971, about four months after I did. His two daughters flank our twin sons in age so our families grew up together in Rotary while Jim and I were climbing the Rotary Totem Pole (a club for new members).
Jim started his service to the Rotary Club right away by joining two committees and has served on one or more committees every year since joining our club. He was our Distinguished Service Club member in 1975 and was elected Club Secretary for
1976-77 during Bill Hornby’s presidency. With only five years in Rotary, Jim had Chaired our Scholarship and Achievement Committee for two years; served as the Rotary Liaison and Officer of Denver Girls for three years; and served twice as Vice Chairman of the Community Service Committee.
In 1977-78, Jim was the first male President of Denver Girls and in 1979-80 served as president of the Rotary Club of Denver following President Grant Wilkins. And while all this was going on, Jim was active in the Denver Chamber of Commerce. What a ride!
In 1983, the economy in Colorado was in the pits, and many of our Rotarians had lost their jobs or were about to, and some of us used to meet after Rotary to try and figure out what to do. Some Rotarians resigned but Jim was able to transfer his membership to a well-deserved Honorary member and has been active in our club ever since.
So from joining Rotary in 1971, Jim has served as:
- Club Member for 50 years
- Club President in 1979-80; Club secretary 1976-77;
- DRCF Legacy Charter Member 2015;
- DRCF Major Donor; Paul Harris Fellow +7;
- Member or Chairman for numerous committees.
We celebrate our newest 50 Year Service Rotarian, Jim Warner!