Waldo man remembered for volunteerism

Posted Aug. 25, 2009, at 8:35 p.m.

WALDO, Maine — Carroll Warren Sr. will long be remembered locally as a force to be reckoned with when it came to helping senior citizens, the sick and others in need, and also as a tireless worker at benefit suppers, friends said days after the Waldo man’s death Friday at the age of 71.

“He was just a great guy. He was always looking for a way to help somebody,” Waldo Selectman Kathy Littlefield said Tuesday. “Even when his health got bad, he still kept at it, even when somebody probably should have been helping him.”

Friends and family can share their memories of Warren at a memorial service and potluck dinner to be held Sunday at the Masonic hall on Northport Avenue in Belfast.

“[It’s] just the way he would like to be remembered for his work as a volunteer,” said daughter Cheryl Bailey of New Harbor. “I’ve always been very proud of what he’s done. I hope that now that he’s not there, there will be somebody who will be able to take over where he left off.”

Warren served as chairman for several years of the Waldo County Chapter of TRIAD, a national organization geared at helping seniors, and was instrumental in organizing the group, according to longtime friend Joe Brooks. He also volunteered at Togus veterans hospital in Augusta for 20 years, was a member of Mariner Lodge of the Masons in Searsport, the Waldo County Democratic Committee, the Waldo Volunteer Fire Department and the Belfast Lions Club and served as a driver for Waldo County Transportation.

He was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2008 by the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, was a Unicel “Hometown Hero” in 2006 because of his work as a volunteer driver and was named Citizen of the Year for 2002 by the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department.

Even while sick with lung disease over the past winter, Warren was able to oversee the “Wrap Our Seniors in Warmth” clothing drive through the Waldo County Triad, Littlefield said.

“Boy, he got a huge response,” she said. “We gathered a whole roomful of clothing together. He did that for many towns in the county, I know that. Carroll was great. He’d always ask me if I knew anybody in town who needed special help. If I came up with somebody, he’d always do the best he could to come up with resources for them.”

The best he could do often reaped big results, according to Gregory Coleman of Waldo, who helped create the nonprofit community organization “Here’s Waldo Days” in the 1980s along with Warren and others. When a local girl afflicted with brain cancer needed help so that her family could stay with her in Boston during medical treatments, Warren helped to raise $6,400, Coleman said.

“He was an absolutely phenomenal planner of benefit suppers galore,” Coleman said. “Unbelievable.”

When people were burned out of their homes and when children were sick, Warren would help, he said. He was also a familiar sight dishing up early morning hunters’ breakfasts around town during the fall.

“In essence, I think he epitomized what a real caring person does for others,” Coleman said. “He was a big giver.”

Waldo Town Clerk Sandra Smith said Warren was “famous” for his spaghetti suppers. When she first met him, she wasn’t sure how to take his air of extreme confidence, Smith recalled.

“As I came to know him, I realized he was the salt of the Earth,” she said. “He came from quite a humble beginning and didn’t have a whole lot in his childhood, but he certainly made a good place in life for others.”

A graveside Masonic and military service for Warren will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Paul Yard Cemetery on Birches Road in Waldo.

The memorial service and potluck dinner is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Masonic Hall in Belfast.

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