Warren Putman

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Warren Carl Putman who served with USAID from 1962 to 1965 (St. Lucia and South Korea) and again from 1979-1986 (Somalia and Washington, D.C.).  Put passed away on July 21, 2019, but he would not want you to mourn him, instead he would prefer that you celebrate his life and grab every opportunity that comes your way.

Born in Woodhaven, New York on December 24, 1925, Put, grew up along the East Coast. His family settled in Lambertville, New Jersey for his high school years.  He joined the Navy at 17 to become a pilot but was told there were enough pilots in the program.  Instead they sent him to Williams College to become an officer.  Impatient to join World War II, he decided to get himself expelled by breaking windows. Then the Navy sent him to submarine school in New London, CT.  About to board a train to begin his deployment to the Pacific, he and a couple of other mates were selected to spend the rest of the war selling war bonds on the recently captured German submarine, the U505.  He received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy Submarine Service in 1946.  Put’s memorabilia from his time on the U505 was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where the submarine is housed.

Returning to civilian life, Put first attended Mohawk College. He then transferred to Rutgers University and obtained his B.Sc. in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in 1950. Following graduation, he used his GI bill to go to France to attend the Sorbonne for a year and to travel extensively around Europe. There he observed the Marshall Plan. This fueled his interest in international development. Returning to the U.S., he put his college training to use and managed several farms which raised Shetland ponies, quarter horses or purebred Angus cattle in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, often for absentee owners. These farms competed in major livestock shows in the U.S., Cuba and the Dominican Republic (DR). He also established a purebred Angus breeding herd in Cuba and sold Thoroughbred race horses there and in the DR.

Put’s first assignment with USAID was in St. Lucia. His final overseas assignment was in Somalia and he retired out of the Asia Bureau in Washington, D.C. During his overseas career, he worked both for USAID as well as for several contractors. He took time off twice to run his own businesses, including Ramier Estate in St. Lucia where he raised tropical flowers, vegetables, tree crops, forage and sheep. Much of his career focused on livestock development and some general agricultural development. He continued consulting after retirement. In 1995, he moved to a 230 acre tree farm in rural West Virginia where he bred and sold Boykin Spaniels. The last of the family’s dogs, Loyenge, now resides in Tennessee.

Put was an avid hunter, deep sea fisherman, skier, sailor, and general outdoorsman. He was a great story teller and some of these can be found in his self-published book—Put’s Tales. One of Put’s more memorable experiences was a ten-day trek on foot across northern Tanzania when he helped a Maasai pal move a herd of cattle. He traveled with only water, a local “thimbo” and a rifle.

Put lost his wife Patricia, who accompanied him on all his long-term assignments, in 1994 after 42 years of marriage. He has been together since 1995 with Dorothy Carlson, who survives him. He is also survived by a son, Duncan (and his wife Jeanette Dickerson-Putman), two daughters, Diana (and her husband Adam Messer) and Alexandra.  He has three granddaughters: Kristen Corl, Bridget Laubacker, and Clarissa Messer and one great granddaughter, Claire Corl.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Journey Hospice (314 South Wells St Sistersville, WV 26175—they cannot accept donations online; Ph: 304.447.2464; hospice@sistersvillegeneral.com); the St. Lucia National Trust (https://www.slunatrust.org/ in memoriam to Warren Putman and in honor of Dan Floissac; or to a charity of your choice that works in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Tanzania or Somalia, or to Heifer International.

A celebration of Put’s life event will be held this fall in Washington, D.C.  If you wish to be invited notify Diana Putman.

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