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Jul. 26—The name "Roy Warner" is in plain view for thousands of travelers between Wagener and Perry each month, on SC 39, with dozens of acres being dedicated to Roy Warner Memorial Park, named for a Greenwood native who rose to prominence in Aiken County.
The park's namesake died in 1973 at age 71 and was "a graduate of Clemson College in the class of 1924," according to his obituary. "Mr. Warner was a former agriculture teacher in the Wagener School and a county agent at Ft. Dyce (sic), Ark. He was owner and operator of M.R. Warner and Son Cotton Gin and Fertilizer business in Wagener and a farmer."
The obituary also noted, "Active in the Wagener community, he was a member of the administrative board and an adult Sunday School teacher of the Wagener United Methodist Church."
The park, in its current form, is composed of 27 acres and holds the Aiken County park system's only dedicated football field (also used for soccer). It is listed as "dog-friendly" and also holds three fields suitable for baseball and softball, a basketball court, outdoor grills, a playground area, a concession stand, bathrooms and a community center and picnic shelter (with tables). Many of the facilities can be reserved by rental.
The newest feature is a half-mile track. The park's staff currently includes Carolyn Rushton, recreation specialist; and David Timmerman, park specialist.
An Aiken Standard article (dated June 10, 1986), from the park's dedication, acknowledged a variety of forces behind its establishment.
"The Wagener Junior Woman's Club ... worked for three years to raise the money needed to purchase the playground equipment, Ann Tyler of the Junior Woman's Club said."
The article also noted, "Two new steel tennis nets, swings, a bucking bronco and a jungle gym were purchased and placed in the park last December. Some of the money was donated by the Aiken County Recreation Commission, but the Junior Woman's Club held numerous bake sales and raffles to get its share of the funds."
The Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department's website points out that the park, established on land donated by the Warner family, expanded starting in 2011, with the purchase of adjoining property from Young Farmers of Wagener.
Among locally prominent residents with a direct connection to the park's namesake is Judith Warner, Aiken County's registrar of mesne conveyance. She is the widow of Carrol Warner, and he, in turn, served on the Aiken County Council (including 18 years as chairman) and was a son of Roy Warner.