The Rev. Edward S. Warfield Jr. Episcopal priest, dies

The Rev. Edward S. Warfield Jr., Episcopal priest, dies at 83.

The Rev. Edward S. Warfield Jr., longtime associate rector of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Ten Hills and an advocate for civil rights, peace and justice, died of cardiac disease March 18 at the Fairhaven retirement community in Sykesville. He was 83.

"Many who met Ed for the first time felt they had known him for many years. That was true because Ed was very approachable and a very good listener," the Rt. Rev. Charles Lindsay Longest, retired suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, wrote in an email.

"One would know soon after meeting him that he cared about them and was interested in them," wrote Bishop Longest, who also lives at Fairhaven. "He had a pastor's heart, as we say, and I have lost a very good and dear friend."

"He was a really good, smart and thoughtful fellow, and a very important presence," said the Rev. Florence L. Ledyard of Cockeysville, rector of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. "He was a wonderful presence liturgically and an exquisite pastor. He and his wife were a stunning team. No matter what was happening at church, he and Mary would be there."

The son of Edward S. Warfield Sr., a farm machinery salesman, and Betty Byrd Chaney, a homemaker, Edward Snowden Warfield Jr. was born in Baltimore. He later moved with his family to Waynesboro, Pa., where he graduated in 1951 from Waynesboro High School.

Father Warfield was a descendant of the Warfield and Snowden families, who immigrated in 1658 from England and Wales to Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

After graduating in 1956 from the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi, he entered Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., from which he received a degree in theology in 1962.

He was ordained a deacon in 1962 and an Episcopal priest the following year.

"He was a fraternity brother of mine at Hopkins and was just a great guy," said Frank P.L. Somerville, a retired Baltimore Sun editor who lives in Homewood.

Father Warfield was curate at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Essex from 1962 to 1963, and rector of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Hamilton from 1963 to 1967.

During the 1960s he also was a counselor for the Community Action Agency's Neighborhood Youth Corps, working with school dropouts. At the time, the agency was under the direction of Rep. Parren J. Mitchell,

Active in the civil rights movement, Father Warfield was on the National Mall on Aug. 28, 1963, where he witnessed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. He joined with other clergy and civil rights activists and marched with Dr. King in Montgomery, Ala., in 1965, and again in Jackson, Miss., the next year.

He served as associate rector at St. Mark's on the Hill Episcopal Church in Pikesville from 1986 to 1993. Then, from 1994 until his death, he was associate rector at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church.

"Ed was a man of strong faith and filled with curiosity about faith," said Ms. Ledyard. "I admired that. And because of his deep faith and curiosity, he was a blessing to be around."

"His most profound gifts were his pastoral skills. He was a stunning pastor in the best sense of the word. He cared about people and made connections with them that were delightful, thoughtful, compassionate and supportive," she said.

"Its always difficult to explain what you mean when you say someone is spiritual. Ed's faith was very real to him and to any who would come to plumb Ed's depth of character. His spirituality ran deep and true," wrote Bishop Longest.

In addition to his church work, Father Warfield was a reserve chaplain with a Maryland National Guard medical unit and was a human resources employee at the Johns Hopkins University.

"Ed was an interesting person. Conversation with him about his life and his family and his years of parish ministry was never dull or pedestrian. With his very keen sense of humor, one really enjoyed talking with him. You were affirmed," wrote Bishop Longest.

"What truly amazed me growing up was that he knew everybody we saw by name, and he always had time to stop and chat," his son, Edward S. Warfield III of Reisterstown, said in an email.

He enjoyed writing poetry and a collection of his works, "Embraced by the Spirit," was compiled by his wife of 43 years, the former Mary Rex Keener.

The former longtime Mount Washington resident lived at Fairhaven for the last five years and often contributed poetry to The Inkling, the retirement community's publication.

Father Warfield and his wife enjoyed traveling, especially to Italy, where they were fond of exploring Tuscany. They also traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, several times with Rahmi M. Koc, a Hopkins classmate.

They also enjoyed spending time at "Innisfree," their weekend home on Bryce Mountain in Bayse, Va.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. April 2 at his church, 4711 Edmondson Ave., Ten Hills.

In addition to his wife and son, Father Warfield is survived by three daughters, Laura Lagomarsino of Glen Arm, Katherine Milam of Danville, Va., and Susan Miller of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; a stepson, John Texter of North Homeland; a stepdaughter, Becky Arlauskas of Carlsbad, Calif; a sister, Mary Eleanor MacSherry of Roland Park; and 15 grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Martha Coates James ended in divorce.

frasmussen@baltsun.com

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