Warren Francis Riner

Riner— Warren Francis Riner, 96, on September 16, 2017, in Claremont, Calif. Warren was born on April 3, 1921, on a farm near Clearwater, Kans. Oldest of eight children, he worked on the farm before earning master’s and doctorate degrees in education. While attending Friends University in Wichita, Kans., he became friends with writer Cecil Hinshaw, who was a professor there. He fought fires as a conscientious objector during the Second World War. After the war, he worked with American Friends Service Committee in Norway, helping to rebuild houses and farms destroyed by the German military, and in Finland, where he distributed 20 tons of clothing to those suffering under Soviet expansion, many of whom had lost their homes.

In Finland he met the love of his life, Viesca Saari, and they married in 1947. They lived for a time in Kansas and in 1960 moved to Upland, Calif., soon becoming beloved members of Claremont (Calif.) Meeting. Warren taught physics, physical science, and electronics in high school and college for 50 years.

After retirement, he was free to engage in his favored profession as a handyman, repairing countless things in Claremont meetinghouse and in Friends’ homes. His practical work permeated his life. Responding to the query What does being a Quaker mean in your daily life? he spoke of his handyman work, saying that he took a Quaker approach, that everything that exists is part of God, and that when he worked he was with God. In furthering the Earth’s future, by participating in everything that exists to make it better and more useful, he knew that he was leaving behind something beautiful. Friends have been blessed by the life, the work, and the words of Warren Riner, who belonged to Claremont Meeting for 57 years.

Warren leaves behind a daughter, Carmen Jenkins (James); a brother; and two sisters.


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