July 17, 2024

Richard H. Warner – Please See UPDATE

Richard H. Warner, UMW professor of history emeritus, passed away this past weekend in New York City.

UPDATE from Tim Brown: Based upon the large number of emails Doc’s family has gotten and the many people who want to attend a gathering in his honor, WE WILL NOW MEET AT THE BATTLEFIELD ON SATURDAY JUNE 25TH at 6PM! All are welcome to come by 1616 COLLEGE AVE at 4pm. After a ceremony at the field the group will go to Home Team Grill for a dinner and stories. ALL of the other details in the note following the obituary item still apply!

“Doc” Warner, as he was affectionately called by the Mother’s Rugby players, joined the faculty at Mary Washington in 1968, after teaching in the U.S. Armed Forces Institute in Germany, the Franklin School in New York City, and at New York University.

Prior to his retirement in 2004, he taught a wide range of topics within the areas of early modern and modern Europe. According to a Free Lance Star article, “his courses on the history of Russia and France, the French and Russian Revolutions, and European Cultural and Intellectual history, anchored the (UMW History) department’s European offerings for many years.

In a retirement tribute it was noted that in addition to his academic accomplishments, “Professor Warner leaves another legacy, and that is the men’s rugby team. He was said to be tireless in recruiting players, reviewing admissions applications, and looking for potential players as he strolled the corridors of Monroe Hall. He was a constant academic mentor extending his passion for the sport and for his players beyond the playing field. It is said that through stringent application of his time management system, “Doc Warner’s Rules for Success,” he helped many players find academic success.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Dartmouth College, and his master of arts and doctorate in history from New York University.

With a special interest in Russian history, he participated in USSR-USA Cultural Exchanges in 1966-67 and in 1992, and worked on a fellowship at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University. In his later years much of his research focused on international maritime history.

Doctor Warner is survived by his wife Judith. Arrangement details will be added to this note when they become available.

UPDATE from Tim Brown:

I have received over 100 emails about Doc and the vast majority of them were requesting details regarding his service or funeral – he chose not to have a funeral after his last heart attack.  He really did not want to attract attention.  What he did want was for a bunch of his players, friends and associates to get together and have fun.  This was confirmed to me when his wife Judith called me early Tue morning with this news. 

If you do not hear anything just keep checking Facebook for confirmation.  I will make a wide-open event titled “Doc Warner – the Father of Mother’s, Memorial Service.”  This is going to be informal and you are encouraged to wear a rugby shirt to the field.  We will have the house open at 1616 College Ave with pictures before and after the event and all of you are encouraged to stop by.  I am sure a good number of us will walk down to Home Team Grill after. 

If you need hotel accommodations please let me know – we have an alum that works for Hilton in the area.  A good number of you are welcome to stay with me. I know the Tuesday will be tough for you (how much time did he give up for all of us?) but Doc has relatives coming from NY and Hawaii and this is the date that worked for them and his wife Judith is approaching 80 and needs their help to get here.  All current players are encouraged to attend as well, and I know all alums that knew doc will attend.  It would be nice to show his son and grandkids what he meant to all of us – stay tuned to Facebook for details (or check the main page of the website at www.mothersrugby.com ) and we hope to see you here. 

Please forward this message as you see fit.  

Tim Brown

Director of Rugby, Mother’s RFC



About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.