Warren K. Milner, owner and operator of a power-washing business, was killed Friday when his Harley-Davidson motorcycle was hit by an automobile on Smith Avenue in Mount Washington. The Homeland resident was 55.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Pimlico and Randallstown, he was depicted in the newspaper's old Sun Magazine as the Koontz dairy Baby of the Month. Family members said his parents carried that advertisement in wallets for decades.
"Warren was never a religious person," said Rabbi Joel Tessler, a family friend who gave the eulogy Sunday in Pikesville. "He attended Hebrew school, had a bar mitzvah, but as a teen and young adult, he began to establish his own way and values. His own way reflected the strongly instilled family values of doing for others and being loyal to the family."
Mr. Milner attended Franklin High School and served in the Navy in Vietnam. Family members said that as a military helicopter mechanic, he developed a lifelong passion for motors, tools and his Harley-Davidson.
"We were a team," said his wife of 19 years, the former Nancy M. Pape. "We traveled up and down the East Coast and out to Milwaukee on his red Road King Classic 2000. He loved the freedom of the road."
Mr. Milner earned a General Educational Development diploma, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in sociology at what is now Towson University and a master's degree in public administration at the University of Baltimore.
He worked as a counselor at Epoch House in Catonsville and for the Baltimore County courts, but about 11 years ago decided to change careers and founded his power-washing business, Bay Wash Inc.
"He followed his passion for technology. He loved moving parts - cars, machines and equipment," his brother Stuart D. Milner of Potomac said yesterday.
Mr. Milner cleaned decks and porches much of the year; in the winter, he washed farm equipment shipped through the port of Baltimore on container ships.
"Just average was never enough," Rabbi Tessler said. "He liked action and created excitement around him - his passions - anything with tools, motors, motorcycles, his cars, trucks and boats. No one could think of Warren as sedate. He functioned at 100 mph and then some."
At the funeral, the rabbi recalled that when "Warren hugged you, you wondered whether ribs would be broken - and you knew you were truly being hugged."
In addition to his wife and brother, survivors include a son, David Pleet of Chicago; a daughter, Kathleen Pleet of Gaithersburg; his mother, Sylvia Levin Milner of Randallstown; and another brother, Ira R. Milner of Spring Valley, N.Y.