Maj. Gen. Edwin "Ted" Warfield III was born into one of Howard County's wealthiest families, whose members include a former Maryland governor and the founders of a publication that helped shape Baltimore's financial community.
But the story he often told about his past -- which his friends and relatives retold yesterday at his funeral -- concerned a day in July 1945. It would change his character and his life, he said, laying a foundation for a career that included becoming commander of the Maryland National Guard, a member of the House of Delegates between 1963 and 1970 and chairman and chief executive of the Daily Record until 1994, when his family sold the publication.
He was flying a P-51 Mustang over Japan when it was shot down over water. Alone for four days, Warfield survived in a raft with a hole in it, with just a candy bar, water rations and a mirror until officers on a submarine, the USS Haddock, found him.
When he was rescued, "he knew God had something special for the 21-year-old," said the Rev. Harry Brunett of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Glenwood, where Warfield worshiped. "Ted, the promise 54 years ago has been fulfilled."
His son, Edwin Warfield IV, delivered the eulogy.
Howard County residents, political leaders and military officers paid their respects at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City. Warfield died Monday of congestive heart failure at St. Agnes Healthcare in Baltimore. He was 75.
Among the more than 400 who attended were former Gov. Harry R. Hughes and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Brewster.
"We literally grew up together. We went to war together. We went to the House of Delegates together," Brewster said. "He was a true citizen-soldier. He followed in his grandfather's footsteps."
Warfield's grandfather was Edwin Warfield, governor between 1904 and 1908.
He received a full military service, ending with four A-10 planes from the Maj. Gen. Edwin Warfield III base at Martin State Airport flying over Cherry Grove Cemetery in Woodbine. Warfield became the sixth generation of Warfields laid to rest there.
Warfield began his military career when he was 18, enlisting in the Army Air Corps. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 1950, he joined the National Guard. In 1970, Gov. Marvin Mandel named him adjutant general.
"Thousands across the state have asked me, 'Are you the general's son?' " Edwin Warfield IV told mourners during the hourlong ceremony. " 'Yes,' I say proudly."
Friends and family remembered how nonjudgmental he was, how he never let rank get in the way of reaching out to others.
"It was because of his assistance [I am in the Guard] and I am indebted to him for that," said Col. Howard S. Freedlander. Freedlander joined the Guard in October 1976 after meeting Warfield's wife at Glenelg Country School, where they both worked. Freedlander met Warfield when he would pick his wife from the school.
"Here was this general officer being friendly and accessible. And I suspect he has done that for thousands."
After the funeral, friends and family gathered at Waverly Mansion in Marriottsville, the home of the county's founder -- George Howard -- and a property Warfield worked to preserve as a member of Friends of Historic Waverly.
Relatives said Warfield, a lifelong Howard County resident, always found time for local causes. Besides his work at Waverly Mansion, he was active in the county's agriculture community.
Warfield "represented the best of that generation that has built America for the last 50 years," Brunett said. "With all the citizens of Maryland, we honor you and we thank you."