A memorial service for former Perris Mayor Robert “Bob” Warren Jr. , a longtime City business and civic leader, will be held at 10 a.m. June 7 at the First Congregational Church of Perris, 100 North A Street.
Mr. Warren, 83, died on April 18 at his retirement home in Fort Worth, where he had lived since moving from Perris in 2009.
Quinn Hawley, a friend of Mr. Warren, will preside over the serivce, which will be followed by a reception and fellowship.
“Bob was beloved in this town,” Hawley said. “He reached out to a lot of families who did not have a lot.”
Mr. Warren was 29 when he was elected to the City Council in 1960 and sworn in as mayor at that time—the youngsest person ever to serve as the top City offical. He also became the first-ever two-term mayor of Perris. Mr. Warren served as mayor from 1960 to 1966 and left the City Council in 1968. During his tenure as mayor, Mr. Warren succeeded in getting a ballot measure passed to purchase the current Civic Center and implemented the city manager form of government still in use in Perris more than half a century later.
Mr. Warren already was a fixture in Perris by the time he entered the world of politics, having spent years working at the People’s Store that his family opened in 1939. That store, at Fourth and D Streets, was the go-to place for agricultural workers, teachers, business owners, professionals, high-school students and parents with young children.
He attended Perris High School, where he played football on the 1948 Riverside County Championship winner. He later served with an Army MASH unit in Korea. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in business from UCLA in 1954, the same year he married the former Jacqueline Jean Jordan, a fellow graduate of Perris High School. When he returned, he took over the family business, which the Warrens operated for 63 years.
Mr. Warren was a member of the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce and numerous other civic organizations during his time as a business and elected leader. He helped found the Perris Valley Historical society and remained an active member for 50 years.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch praised Mr. Warren as a man “who was a friend to everybody, helped everyone and loved Perris.”
“He was the kind of citizen we should all strive to be,” Busch said.
Mr. Warren made his final appearance in Perris in 2012, when he and his family were honored as the City’s Pioneer Family of the Year. During comments made at the restored Depot Building, Mr. Warren remembered with fondness his many years in Perris.
“Perris was a wonderful place to grow up,” he said. “There were less than 1,500 people and no freeway. You could ride a bike and never worry about traffic. Wherever I traveled, I always looked forward to coming back to Perris. You were recognized. People knew you.”
He said he was pleased to see Perris thriving, adding, “it’s nice to come back to a City growing and prospering and looking forward to the future.”
Mr. Warren is survived by his wife Jacqueline J. Warren; sister, Sandra Sue Warren Kitsmiller; a daughter, Janet Sue Warren Szekerka and husband; sons, Robert T. Warren and wife Maria and Thomas Edward Warren and wife Tonya and 16 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please make donations to the Perris Valley Historical Society.