H. Branch Warfield, a social worker who was the former assistant to the director of the state Social Services Administration, died Tuesday from heart failure at Gilchrist Center Towson. The Hunt Valley resident was 94.
Henry Branch Warfield, the son of Lee Owings Warfield, a dairy farmer, and his wife, Eleanor Branch Warfield, was born and raised at Solopha, the family farm near Sykesville.
Mr. Warfield, who was known as Branch, was a 1941 graduate of Sykesville High School and began his college studies at Washington College, which were interrupted by World War II.
In 1943, he joined the V-12 program to be trained as a naval officer, and a year later was commissioned an ensign. After completing training in cryptography at Harvard University, he was stationed at Guam, where he received and sent classified coded messages.
Discharged from the Navy in 1946, he returned to Washington College, from which he graduated in 1947.
In 1948, he began his career as a caseworker for the Baltimore City Department of Welfare, and in the fall of 1949 entered the University of Pennsylvania, from which he earned a master’s degree in social work in 1951.
Mr. Warfield held various positions for 18 years in the city Department of Welfare before joining the state welfare system in 1969.
For the last five years of his career until retiring in 1989, he was assistant to the director of the state Social Services Administration.
In addition to his work with the state, Mr. Warfield also maintained a private practice counseling couples experiencing marital problems.
He was a member and elder of the Maryland Presbyterian Church, where he advocated for missions for the poor, including the church’s sister parish in San Salvador. He also joined with others in delegations to El Salvador and eventually became a volunteer promoter for the SHARE Foundation while raising consciousness and money among other churches in the Mid-Atlantic region for Salvadorans.
Mr. Warfield had also been on the boards of the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity and the Light Street Housing Corp.
The former longtime resident of Cowpens Avenue in Towson, who lived at the Broadmead retirement community in Hunt Valley for the last 20 years, began preforming in 1972 in local amateur theatricals with a son.
Interested in philosophy, religion and Spanish, Mr. Warfield took courses at Towson University and the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex. He also enjoyed gardening and preserving and documenting antique furniture he had inherited.
His wife of 56 years, the former Dickens Waddell, died in 2011.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at his church, 1105 Providence Road, Towson.
He is survived by a son, Charles Alexander Warfield of New Palestine, Ind., and two grandchildren. Another son, DeWitt Waddell Warfield, died in 2009.