He delivered milk products house to house for Turner Dairies for six years. That company later became Mellow Dairies and now it’s Barber Dairies.
He then worked five years at Lee Brass in Anniston.
His next job was with Liberty National Insurance Co. He started out as an agent and was sales manager when he left in 1983 to venture into a new profession - hardware.
West Hardware, located on the square, had served several generations of Jacksonville residents. Seymour West, the owner, decided it was time to sell.
He suggested to Warren that he consider buying it. After talking it over with his wife, Ruby, he decided he’d like to have it.
“I kept trying to find a pretty good job and I finally wound up at the store,” he said. “Seymour West asked me if I wanted to buy it, and I said well, that I thought I might like to. I asked my wife what she thought about me buying it and she said that I’d always made the living and she’d always tried to make the home. She told me that if I wanted to buy it, she’d go up there and work for two or three months. After a while I couldn’t run her off with a pine top. She just kept working. She was a lot of help.”
With Warren as the new owner, it became Warren Ace and relocated to Alabama 21 S. in 1995.
After 15 years at Warren Ace, Warren decided it was time to sit back and relax for the next part of his life. In 1998, he told the business to his daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Chuck Tomlinson.
Leaving wasn’t easy for the father of four who had worked for so many years.
“I didn’t get fired, but they told me to get out of there,” he said. “I missed it a lot. I really did. I had a lot of good friends up there. I couldn’t get used to not working. It bothered me. I went into the upholstery business. I covered my recliner every day. I’m still covering it.”
Actually, what Warren is really doing these days is enjoying his family, working crossword puzzles and walking daily at the community center.
In fact, Warren was instrumental in getting a lift installed at the community center for those who have difficulty taking the stairs. He and several others appealed to the mayor and city council, and Warren spoke at a council meeting one night.
“We really appreciate what the mayor and council did for us,” he said. “I’ve heard several people say that now they’re going to start walking. After my quadruple bypass, Ruby signed me up to walk. I’ve been walking every day since then. That was about six years ago. I walk two miles a day six days a week. I know it helps my health. I’ve had an ailment or two, but I keep on walking I take a lot of medicine, but I feel like I’m in fairly good shape.”
Warren, 79, said he believes that walking contributes to his well being.
Several years ago, Ruby and their children gave him a table to work his jigsaw puzzles on. It was his Christmas gift.
“I go downstairs and work on them every day,” he said. “I really do enjoy that. I might work 30 minutes or what have you and just leave it until next time. I’ve had people bring me boxes of jigsaw puzzles. I’ve worked just about every one of them.”
Warren said his favorite jigsaw puzzle came from Ruby. It was the Sistine Chapel in Rome and contained 3,000 pieces. The Warrens had visited there.
“I got it together without losing a piece,” he said. “I put it in a frame. It’s hanging on the wall. Since we’d been there, it made it more special to me.”
The Warrens will be married 60 years in May. They met on a blind date.
“The first time I saw her, I said to myself, I’m gonna marry that girl, so we did,” he said. “We dated four and a half months. I’m a salesman, you know. I’d do it again. I got the right woman.”
Their youngest daughter and her husband, Renee and Taylor live in Jacksonville. Their son, Keith, and his wife, Dee, live in Louisville, Ky. Their daughter, Donna Shamblin, lives in Jacksonville. Debbie and Chuck also live in Jacksonville. The Warrens have eight grandchildren.
They are members of the First Baptist Church.
Warren was born in the Abernathy community in Cleburne County. He graduated from Cleburne County High School in 1951.
“We’re thankful to all of our friends and the folks in Jacksonville,” he said. “As far as I know we’ve never made any enemies. As long as God will let us, we’ll keep on doing the best we can.”
Contact Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org.