Paul Warner 1937 – 2010

A Brilliant Life

Kiddingly called The Data Whisperer, Paul Warner was an expert in designing Business Intelligence computer systems for some of the world’s largest corporations such as Microsoft where he was working as a Senior Database Architect/Analyst .Net developer until pulmonary fibrosis swiftly took him on May 29th.   This was the culmination of a lifelong quest to continually learn and create ways to help others solve problems.  As a youngster, he knew he wanted to become an Engineer.  Some memorable experiments were engines that ran on water which rusted before they blew up, a portable radio with antenna lining his bib overalls using the quartz crystal he found in the woods and harnessing lightening during rainstorms resulting in powerful electric arcs in his bedroom.  All were precursors to his potential and eventual successful career resulting in eight highly scientific patents for Fortune 500 corporations.

Paul was born in Elmhurst, IL the 6th child of 7 to Virgil and Ruth Warner.  When he was 5 they moved to an extremely rural farm in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri.  This was like going back in time as they had no heat, running water or electricity.   The physical labor to do all things manually while attending a one room school house, created an extremely independent individual with an intense curiosity and drive to seek and make things happen.  As soon as he graduated from high school with honors, he immediately joined the Navy at the Great Lakes School for Engineers.  After four years of many adventures in the Pacific with Top Secret Clearance he was honorably discharged.   On the way home his train stopped in a town announcing college registration.  He got off and was accepted at Texas Christian University where he really enjoyed playing on the football team while teaching most of his own math classes.  A graduate degree in math and science from the University of Texas at Austin resulted in his first engineering job at Dukane.  He excelled and held several exciting and challenging positions including President of Northern Communications, VP of Engineering for Muzak/Westinghouse and Director of Advanced Development for Dow Jones & Co. 

 In 1991, it was time for a change in this workaholic’s life.   He and his wife Laurie purchased a business and property at the base of the Snowy Mountains in Laramie, Wyoming allowing Paul to build by hand their house on the prairie where they enjoyed horses and dogs and the freshest air one can find.  By 2000, Paul was working for Compuware in Milwaukee, WI becoming one of the cities’ most sought after consultants and where he designed 2 of his patents for real time vision control for the global printing company Quad Graphics.   Following the job trail, Salt Lake City, Utah was next where he worked for Rio Tinto and Zion’s Bank.  In 2008, he decided to move to Seattle to spend time with his two grandchildren while continuing to work, which you probably have guessed by now was actually fun for him.   

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Laurie; his two sons from his first marriage Robert and Sam; two grandchildren; his older brothers Roscoe and Sidney, his sister Beverly Ann as well as many nieces and nephews and all of their children scattered across the Midwest.   At 6’5” tall and described as a gentle giant, Paul was a shy, unpretentious genius who preferred a life free of all things mundane.  His generous nature and constant positive encouragement to all who knew him will be sorely missed.

14 Responses to “Paul Warner 1937 – 2010”

  • Dawn Chen says:

    Paul is a wonderful co-worker at my contract terms at Microsoft. For me, he is as a school professor. He really made me think! I have been learning a lot from him. Both on technical and “learning/curious is regardless of age”. He came to office around 6 am daily and enjoyed all the latest technology on e-book/white paper/web which he was eagle to bring it to the team. Also, sharing and helping all of us. Because of Paul, everybody learned and brain-stormed the BI/OLAPCube(our many projects). His life is brilliant every minutes until run out of gas(God has his plan on everyone).

  • Debbie Axe says:

    This is a sweet tribute to one of my favorite uncles. I didn’t even know some of his accomplishments!!! I will always remember him as the funny, good-looking uncle who smiled often and especially at us kids as we were being “kids”. He never seemed to mind the four of us kids as we clustered around him each time he visited. I am especially thankful for the opportunity we had to visit with him after my own father died. Little did we know that this was the last time we would see him. He will truly be missed.

  • Bob says:

    Will always miss you for now Dad. Will see you again. 🙂

  • Harriette Leitman says:

    Paul will very much be missed on our team at Microsoft. He had an infectious smile and a gentle way about him. He was generous in sharing his knowledge and his brilliance helped the team to be stronger. I very much enjoyed working with him. I will remember him as I see the most brilliant star in the sky!

  • Terri Kaminski says:

    Paul has moved on to whatever is next. In this life, I will remember him as a helpful, kind neighbor and the husband of my good friend, Laurie, to whom I wish courage and strength during this difficult time and throughout the future.

  • Barby MacGowan says:

    So special, more than any of us could dream of accomplishing in a lifetime. We will miss him.

  • Ashutosh says:

    Paul touched my life in so many ways while he was in Salt Lake City . He was intelligent, smart, and a very good friend. After meeting him, I realized what brilliance meant. He was the encyclopedia of everything, yet, he was very humble. He was always ready to help anyone in any capacity. To me, he was a great teacher and friend. He taught me from audio engineering to playing card games to fixing dry walls. Time spent with him is a true treasure for me. Paul will always have a special place in my heart.

  • Jana Smith says:

    Paul will be remembered as one my most favorite consultants I have worked with. He was always so patient, brilliant, and kind. I am honored to have had the opportunity as his IT Recruiter knowing that he leaves behind such a legacy with the teams he worked on. He will be missed and can’t be replaced!

  • Mary & Rick Maturi says:

    Paul entered our lives nineteen years ago when he and Laurie arrived in Wyoming the same week we did. So many memories fill our hearts. From the beginning, Paul’s expansive knowledge, sharp wit and warm kindness showed through.
    What an experience to share a small part in raising their house frame on the wind-swept prairie. Paul designed and built the house with knowledge and grit. Paul was always willing to offer computer advice and emergency help as when we spilled lemonade all over the keyboard.
    We shared holiday meals, visited our favorite haunts in Laramie, rode “The Snowies” together and stalked antelope with our friend whose broad smile filled his face.
    Paul, always the gracious host, welcomed us to his and Laurie’s homes in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Utah and Washington. He shared our joys and comforted us in sadness.
    Paul, you will be missed. May our Lord bless you, make His love to shine upon you and grant you peace forevermore. Laurie, you will remain in our hearts always.

  • Jeanne says:

    I will always cherish his delicious sense of humor. If you weren’t watching for the subtle signs you’d miss it all and then wonder what people were laughing about. May the Creator bring blessings and peace to Laurie. Watch for angels (they look like family), for they will bring you much support now and in the future.

  • Julie Yu says:

    My heart goes out to Laurie and your family. It’s sad to see Paul goes. I am sure he is smiling at you and all of us from above where the lung disease has been cured.

    I had worked with him for about 5 months at MS on my last assignment (Nov 2009~Mar 2010). Our desks were facing each other. I would hear all the fun stories about the farm and stories about you. I would ask him bunch silly questions about farm and horses, since I grew up in the city. He would also share stories while he stationed in Maui, HI, even his boxing days!! He’s such fun/great guy and a gentle soul with all the stories plus all the knowledge in technology, specifically in database/data warehouse/business intelligence. He has taught me a lot, and I have learned a great deal from him in all aspects. He made me laugh so much while working with him. Thank you, Paul.

    He is and will be greatly missed by all of us whom have been touched by him through out his life.

    Please take care, Laurie.

  • Merle and Bob Matthews says:

    So sorry to learn of Paul’s recent passing. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person.

    Our thoughts are with you and your family, Laurie.

  • Marlene Lingren says:

    Paul and Laurie were my next door neighbors while living in Salt Lake City. I truly enjoyed their friendship and learned much from them. I only wish they lived close by longer. Paul is onto another adventure and will be missed. I believe at another time, we will meet again.




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