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Warren G. Sargent, a retired architect who enjoyed flying into his 80s.

Warren G. Sargent, a World War II veteran and architect who enjoyed flying, died July 27.
Warren G. Sargent, a World War II veteran and architect who enjoyed flying, died July 27. (HANDOUT)

Warren G. Sargent, a retired architect, World War II veteran and aviator, who built and flew an airplane when he was in his 80s, died July 27 of a fractured hip at Casey/Montgomery Hospice in Rockville.

The longtime resident of Glenwood in Howard County was 99.

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"He was, I thought, an excellent architect. He was a graduate of MIT and a New Englander," said Ralph E. Hurst, an architect in Washington Grove, Montgomery County, who was hired by Mr. Sargent in 1974 after he graduated from college.

"I had interviewed with several other firms, and he offered me $1,000 more, or $9,000 a year," he recalled. "It was more than the money. I knew right away that I wanted to work for him."

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The son of Sam Sargent, an artist and portrait painter, and Beulah Frost, a musician, Warren Gooch Sargent was born and raised in Newburyport, Mass., where he graduated from high school in 1937. He earned a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1941 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After enlisting in the Navy in 1942, Mr. Sargent was sent to Washington, where he joined the Office of Naval Intelligence as a photo interpreter. He was later promoted to flight deck director and was stationed aboard the escort aircraft carrier USS Kasaan Bay in the Atlantic and Pacific.

"He sailed from Malta to Saipan," said his daughter, Louise A.R. "Louanne" Sargent of Blue River, Ore.

Discharged in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant, Mr. Sargent joined Capitol Airlines, where he designed ground facilities at airports including Baltimore's old Friendship Airport, now Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

In 1948, Mr. Sargent joined David Daumit in Washington, where they established the Daumit & Sargent architectural firm.

In the early 1950s, Mr. Sargent established Keller, Loewer, Sargent and Associates, an architectural and engineering firm that does projects for the General Services Administration and the U.S. Defense Department, among others.

He founded Sargent and Associates Inc. in Kensington in 1967, retiring in 1984.

Notable commissions of Mr. Sargent's include the Ocean City Convention Center, the art and sociology buildings at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Maryland Trade Center Complex in Greenbelt, Washingtonian Tower in Gaithersburg, West Friendship Elementary School and the Lisbon firehouse in Howard County.

"His worked ranged from commercial to residential and he had a great touch. He was not married to any one style or category. He was very resilient," said Mr. Hurst, who worked for Mr. Sargent until 1978. "He was low-key, but he knew structures and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems."

Even though Mr. Sargent retired in 1984, he and Mr. Hurst, who has been since 1981 a solo practitioner and owner of Ralph Hurst Architect, continued to maintain a professional and personal relationship.

"We continued to work on things together during throughout the 1980s," Mr. Hurst said.

After Mr. Sargent married Marguerite Dumeste Ridgely, they built a home on a 12-acre parcel that had once been attached to a 300-acre estate ard to Get and Dear Paid For," near Glenwood that had been in the Ridgely family since the 19th century.

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Mr. Sargent served on the Howard County school board from 1968 to 1973, and was involved in the planning of open-space schools for the new city of Columbia that was being developed by James W. Rouse, with whom he worked closely.

Mr. Sargent was a member of the American Institute of Architects.

He was a past president of the Glenwood Lions Club, a member of the Howard County Charter Government Study Commission and the Howard County Airport Study Commission.

He also participated in the concept development of Howard Community College and was a driving force in the 1970s behind the $26,000 restoration and maintenance of the historic Union Chapel at the corner of Union Chapel and Roxbury Mills roads in Glenwood.

Constructed in 1822, it was once home to a Methodist congregation that abandoned it in the 1950s, and has been rented by St. Andrew's Episcopal Church since 1980.

Mr. Sargent first attended Union Chapel in 1951.

""My father-in-law, Thomas A. Ridgely, attended this church and got me involved in the board of trustees. He believes the church was once part of the circuit which included Jennings Chapel, Poplar Springs and Lisbon," Mr. Sargent told The Baltimore Sun in a 1980 article.

Mr. Sargent earned his private pilot's license in 1939 and a commercial license in 1965.

Through the years, he owned several single- and dual-engine planes. After retiring, he built a two-seater Midget Mustang II, not from a kit but from blueprints. He continued flying until he was in his late 80s.

He had been a member of the Frederick Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association since 1983.

Mr. Sargent's interest in painting began as an 8-year-old when he accompanied his father to New England locations.

He said in a 2011 interview with The Sun that he inherited his talent from his parents.

He returned to painting years later.

"He did do some oils, but he mainly worked in watercolors," Mr. Hurst said. "He painted mostly New England seascapes, buildings, ports and boats."

"Watercolor is pure discipline, and every brush stroke means something," Mr. Sargent told The Sun in the 2011 interview.

"You don't dabble in watercolors, you figure out what you're going to do and do it. Watercolor painting is utter concentration, and you lose yourself in the process. You can't leave it that long since it's wet all the time," he said.

He said fall scenes were not a particular interest of his.

"Fall foliage is picky stuff," he told The Sun. "Yiu almost have to paint the individual leaves. I guess I'm a broad-stroke, slapdash kind of guy."

Mr. Sargent put the brush down in 1997, explaining that the once charming harbors he loved to paint were now lined by developments and armadas of boats.

"You can walk across the river by stepping on them one by one," he said in the interview.

He and his wife also enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard their 45-foot motor sailboat, the Triomphe, and on voyages to Montauk Point, N.Y., and Cape May, N.J.

After selling their boat, they purchased a recreational vehicle and explored New England.

Mrs. Sargent died in 2008.

Plans for a memorial gathering to be held at Union Chapel are incomplete.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Sargent is survived by a son, Thomas W. Sargent of Glenwood; and two granddaughters.

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