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Jan. 8, 1924-April 26, 2008

DOVER, Del. -- Melville F. Warren Sr., 84, passed away Saturday at Bayhealth Kent General Hospital after a brief illness. He was born in Faison, N.C., to Olivia Jones Warren and Fred Fearington Warren, a Methodist minister.

Mel served in the U.S. Army during World War II, which included combat duty in the South Pacific. For his service, he received an honorable discharge in 1946. He returned to graduate from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, N.C. He received a master's degree in educational administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1951. His career began in the Morgantown, N.C., school system. After three years, he was selected assistant superintendent in the Department of Defense school system to serve in Wiesbaden, Germany. It was there that he met his future wife, Betty, who was a teacher. They were married there on June 1, 1957. He returned to the United States as a curriculum director for the Oxford Area Schools in Oxford, Pa. He met Dave Green, superintendent of the Dover School District (now Capital School District in Dover, Del.) and was asked to serve as the director of elementary education -- a position he held under five superintendents. His career in Dover spanned from 1958 until his retirement in 1991. During his tenure, Mr. Warren saw the district expand from three elementary schools to six and was proud to have recruited dozens of new teachers from colleges throughout the eastern part of the United States, many of whom taught their entire careers and raised their families in the Dover area. In addition to curriculum supervision, he initiated many new programs in the Capital district. He organized the Kent County Orthopedic School to provide services for physically handicapped children and was also supervisor of the district's school nurses. In the early 1960s, Mel helped manage the peaceful integration of the Dover elementary sehools.

Mel was inducted into the Phi Delta Kappa Professional Fraternity in education in 1953. He was state president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development-ASCD, was state president of the Sons of the American Revolution-SAR. He was a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Dover Rotary Club during the 196's and '70s. In 1973, Mel was named an Outstanding Educator in America by the Academy of American Educators.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents; along with sisters, Helen Winkler of Charlotte, N.C., and Virginia Burcher of Roswell, Ga. He is survived by his wife, Betty L. Warren; son, Mel Warren Jr.; daughter-in-law, Peni G. Warren; and grandsons, Chase and Cameron, all of Dover, Del. Mel is also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews in the Faison area and farther south.

A memorial service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Dover, Del., on Friday, May 2, 2008. Family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service which will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2008, at Wayne Memorial Park, 2925 U.S. Highway 117 North, in Goldsboro, N.C.

Instead of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to Faison United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 417, Faison, N.C. 28341 or the Bayhealth Foundation, 640 S. State St., Dover, Del. 19901.


Published in Obituaries on May 6, 2008 1:47 PM