Everyday Huskies

Happy 100th birthday, Charlie Warner

On Aug. 18, 2018, UW Alumni Association life member Charlie Warner, ’41, ’47,  turned 100 years old. Charlie has lived a long and accomplished life: he fought to protect our freedoms in World War II and he spent decades fighting for the rights of injured workers in Seattle and throughout the state of Washington as one of the earliest partners of The Walthew Law Firm.

Distinguished veteran

Charlie entered the United States Army in June 1941. A recent graduate of the University of Washington, he was beginning his service as an infantry company officer at the same time that Adolf Hitler was declaring war on the Soviet Union and the entire world was being plunged into one of the darkest periods in its entire history.

On Nov. 8, 1942, Charlie was among the Allied troops who landed in North Africa as part of Operation Torch. Joint Anglo-American forces from the United States and the United Kingdom pushed General Erwin Rommel’s army out of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. By the spring of 1943, the German army was forced to surrender in North Africa. This was a crucial military victory. It allowed Allied forces to enter and liberate Southern Europe. Charlie Warner was also among the first troops to land in Sicily in June of 1943. He fought there until the combat operations ended in Italy in mid-Aug. 1943.

The war may have been winding down for some, but it was just starting for Charlie. On June 6, 1944, Charlie was among the American forces landing on Omaha Beach as part of the historic D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. One of the largest amphibious military assaults in global history, D-Day was a bold and successful operation.

While it no doubt required extensive planning from some of America’s top military minds like General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the men on the ground like Charlie Warner were the ones who made D-Day a success. With his battalion, he fought to liberate France, chasing the German military out of the country. He faced heavy counterattacks along the way. In one especially difficult battle along the Mons-Charleroi highway, hand-to-hand combat was required. Eventually, Charlie reached the German border before ending his active duty career in a hospital in Liege, Belgium.

Professional law career

After returning from the war, Charlie received a law degree from the UW. In 1947, he joined The Walthew Law Firm. In his illustrious legal career, Mr. Warner has had a front-row seat to some of the most important legal developments in our state’s history. This includes substantial changes to state and federal workplace regulations, including the 1973 passage of the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). This law allowed the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to assert far greater power to investigate companies for alleged workplace safety violations and enforce state and federal workplace safety regulations.

Charlie dedicated his legal career to fighting for the rights and interests of workers. He worked tirelessly to ensure Washington workers have fair and safe conditions on the job and to ensure that injured workers get justice, proper medical care and fair financial support for their families.

We are happy to report that Charlie continues to lead an active life. He still drives, hits the golf course on weekends, loves spending time with his dog Nicky and even enjoys the occasional beer. The UW Alumni Association is proud to salute Charlie Warner.

This article was adapted from this tribute on the Walthew Law Firm website.