Warner K. Reeser
Warner K Reeser, Sr. was born Kilbourne Warner Peoples on June 19, 1914 to James Peoples and Effie Mae (Warner) Peoples in Leepers Folk, Tennessee. His early years were spent in Iowa where, after the death of his Dad from effects of World War I, Effie Mae married Sam Reeser, who adopted Warner and his two younger brothers, and Sam changed his name to Warner Kenneth Reeser. During the depression, Sam moved his family west to find work, and their Model A Ford broke down in Loveland where they lived for a short time, but then moved to Longmont, and they made that their home. Warner graduated from Longmont High School. Sam died of black lung disease, leaving the family destitute, so Warner and his brothers and mother scrounged what they could to get by.
He had a number of jobs during the depression, and was eventually chosen to join the Denver Police Department. That career was interrupted by World War 2, in which he served in Guam. When he returned from service, he resumed his work on the Denver Police Department until 1968 when he retired. He worked his way up to Assistant Chief of Police in charge of the patrol division and retired with his permanent rank of Captain. He and Ruth moved to Estes Park after retirement and lived there until 2007 at which time they moved to the twin homes at the Good Samaritan Village in Loveland.
Warner was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fly fishing, and taught his kids how to fish, ski, camp, hike, play football, basketball, and baseball, and bugle elk down from the mountains. But he was better known for his birding expertise. He was president of the Denver Field Ornithologists in the 1960s and was one of the founding members of the Estes Park Birding Club. He and Ruth have a wildlife refuge on the trail around Lake Estes named in their honor, and Warner is listed in the credits of several birding books. He hosted Roger Tory Peterson on one occasion when Roger asked Warner to take him to some particular hummingbird nests, which he did.
Family was very important to Warner, and in 1935, he married Virginia Harding in Longmont, and that union produced Gilbert Arlan (and Lynne) of Pleasanton, CA, Barbara Van Orshoven of San Diego, CA, and Michael. Later, Warner married Ruth Collins of Denver in 1944, and that union produced Warner, Jr. (and Kathy) of Lakewood, Richard (and Laura) of Greeley, and David (and Cheryl) of Castle Rock.
Warner received spiritual enrichment from a number of churches that were near their homes throughout his life and often took his family to church on Sundays.
Preceding Warner in death were his parents, brothers Wesley and Robert, and a grandson, Matthew Reeser. Family members mourning his death are his wife, Ruth of Loveland, all of the aforementioned family members, 19 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Warner died on Monday, April 9, 2012 at the Loveland Good Samaritan Village Rehab Center from complications from a very advanced case of old age. There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate his life on Monday, April 16th at 2:30 p.m. at the Good Samaritan Society Loveland Village Chapel followed by a private burial at Fort Logan Cemetery. Memorial donations in Warner’s name can be made to your favorite birding club or the Good Samaritan Society Loveland Gardner Rehab Center.