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In Memory

James Walter Warner, former engineering professor, passed away Dec. 18, 2008

January 7, 2009

Dr. James Walter Warner passed away on Dec. 18, 2008 at his home.

Engineering alum, long-time prof

Dr. Warner was born on Nov. 19, 1946, in Fresno, Calif., to Lavon and George Wesley Warner. Dr. Warner grew up in Fresno with his sister and two brothers. He loved his mother very much and always tried to provide and care for her during her lifetime. He was extremely athletic and smart as a boy.

Warner attended McLane High School, where he was a varsity wrestler and a varsity player on a two-time state champion football team. It was in high school where he met the love of his life, Kathy. They were married in 1965 and together raised six children during their forty-three years of marriage.

Dr. Warner won a full ride scholarship to UC Santa Barbara in football, but turned it down to stay near Kathy. He instead went on to attend California State University, Fresno, where he earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1968. While at Fresno State, he won the heavy weight state champion wrestling title. Dr. Warner then proceeded to get his M.S. in Systems Engineering and Civil Engineering, and an MBA from California State University, Fullerton in 1973.

Devotion to students

Dr. Warner worked for the USGS for 12 years. During that time he moved his family from California to Fort Collins, arriving in 1974. In 1981, he earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and became a Professor of Civil Engineering, achieving his lifelong dream. He served as the CSU Groundwater Engineering Program leader, and was a recognized expert in the Groundwater field. He was awarded the prestigious honor, Excellence in Teaching, in 2006.

Dr. Warner's students and his teaching responsibilities were very important to him. In keeping with his devotion to his students, he did not leave this world until one hour after his last final exam was given and he knew he had completed his teaching duties for the semester. Throughout his 27 years at CSU, he was revered as a remarkable professor and was influential in the lives of countless students.

All six children earned Engineering degrees from CSU

Dr. Warner loved his children and grandchildren with all of his heart and was proud of each and every one. His strong values influenced his children, and all six of them earned Engineering degrees from CSU, and started families of their own. In addition, they all chose to reside in Fort Collins and continue to stay close, which was very important to him. He passed on to his children his athleticism, intellect, and the importance of family. His grandchildren also inherited his athletic abilities and he enjoyed attending all of their sporting events.

Founder of Techlink Environmental

He started his own engineering company, Techlink Environmental, in hopes of providing his children with job stability and to keep the family bonds strong. Dr. Warner had a heart of gold and lived large in every aspect of life.

Traveling was one of his favorite pastimes and he was proud that he was a world traveler. Among his favorite places to go were Egypt and Cancun, Mexico. In Egypt, he was treated like a king by the locals and he loved to barter at the shops. In Cancun, he enjoyed playing in the pool with his grandchildren, eating grouper sandwiches, drinking banana monkeys, and listening to the ocean waves.

Dr. Jim Warner is survived by his wife, Kathy (Cookie) Warner; and his six children, and twelve grandchildren, Christie McDonald, her husband, Monte and their children, Brode, Max and Gabriella; Dan Warner, his wife, Michele, and their children, Savannah, Chloe and Alexandra, Jeremy Warner, his wife, Jene and their son, Maverick, Elizabeth Loyd, her husband, Brad, and their children, Bradon and Audrey, Jaclyn Michaelsen, her husband, Paul and their children, Cassandra, Samantha and James; and Kevin Warner and his wife, Bethony. He is also survived by his sister, Judy Kenshalo and her husband, John; and his brother, Cliff Warner and his wife, Michelle. He was preceded in death by his mother, Bonnie Warner; and his brother, George Warner, Jr.

Memorial Service Dec. 29

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 600 East Swallow. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the James Warner memorial fund c/o Goes Funeral Care. Visit to sign the guest book and share your memories.


Originally published in the Coloradoan Dec. 24, 2008.