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Benjamin Raymond Warrick, 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, January 29, 2024, at ECU Health Duplin Hospital. While he had many titles during his life, “Big Daddy” as he was affectionately known to his grandsons and all of their friends, was his favorite.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 1st, 2:00pm-6:00pm at the home of Leslie and Andy Darden, 306 Timberlake Drive, Clinton. A church visitation will be on Friday, February 2nd, 1:00pm – 2:00pm prior to the Funeral service at 2:00pm, First Methodist Church in Clinton. A private burial is planned.
Ben, born July 3, 1936, in Johnston County was the son of the late Lester Benjamin Warrick and Mavis Strickland Warrick. After graduating from Smithfield-Selma High school in 1954, he studied Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After only a year of college, he moved back to Smithfield to manage a clothing store. Soon, he moved to California to enter airline school and worked with Slick Airways in Newark, New Jersey. In 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Pat, and volunteered for the US Army. They spent several years in the Washington D.C. area where he was stationed at a missile site and they were active members at Pennsylvania Baptist Church. In 1961, he completed his military service and returned to UNC-Chapel Hill where he completed his bachelor’s degree and earned his law degree. While in law school, he served as President of his law school class and was a founding member of the Holderness Moot Court competition. Upon graduation in 1967, he joined attorneys Joe Chambliss and Cliff Paderick in Clinton. During the 1970’s, Dale Johnson and Doug Parsons also joined that practice. For more than 50 years, his practice included family law, estate administration, estate planning, real estate transactions and general civil law. For much of that time, he served the county as its legal representative for the Department of Social Services and the Sampson County Child Support Enforcement Agency. In 2011, he was inducted into the NC Bar Association’s General Practice Hall of Fame. General Practice Hall of Fame lawyers have exhibited throughout their practice the highest standards of ethics and professional competency and have rendered a high level of service to the Bar and to their communities. In 2006, he welcomed Frank Bradshaw into the practice, serving as his mentor and trusted advisor. After several years, he confidently transitioned to a “part-time” and “semi-retired” attorney. Frank “allowed” him to come in from time to time and continue to work until his full retirement in 2022.
Ben was exposed to church at a young age, playing the organ and piano as a teenager and at many churches throughout his life. As a kid, his parents took him to gospel sings and tent revivals where he developed a great love for southern gospel music. He sang in a number of quartets throughout his life and took advantage of every opportunity to sing, whether it was a church choir, community theatre, or just friends gathered around the piano. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the age of 19 and rarely missed a chance to attend church and serve in some capacity. He truly loved his church family at First Methodist Church in Clinton. Over the years, he graciously filled many roles there, but his love of music lead to his permanent space in the choir loft carrying the bass section. One of his passions was sharing his extensive knowledge of the bible with others, especially his friends in the C. Freeman Heath Sunday School Class.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia Brantley Warrick; children, Leigh Warrick Gurley (Dan) of Wallace, NC and Leslie Warrick Darden (Andy) of Clinton; grandchildren, Reid Edward Darden of Raleigh and Matthew Benjamin Darden of Clinton; Sister, Marcia Warrick Ewing of Chattanooga, TN. In 2010, he welcomed Adam and Ashley Gurley and later, their sons, Tennyson and DJ, into the Warrick family.
We will forever be grateful to the staff at ECU Health Duplin Hospital for their extraordinary care. We especially extend our thanks to Drs. Zach Sutton and Chad Kornegay and the entire ICU staff. Our family also wishes to express heartfelt appreciation to Dr. James Powell, ECU Division of General Internal Medicine; and Dr. Hassan Alhosaini, Alison Cieszko and Brenna Weston at ECU Health Heart Failure Clinic, Greenville NC. Finally, we appreciate the love and kindness our family received from some very special caregivers in the home- Angela, Jennifer, LaRue, LaShon, Val, and longtime friend and caregiver, Gail Baldwin. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Methodist Church- Backpack Buddies, 208 Sampson Street, Clinton, NC 28328