Cleone Brookins Warner

Honored by:Margo Warner Curl
Brick location:C:18  map

It is very appropriate to be able to honor my mother, Cleone Brookins Warner, in conjunction with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

My grandmother, Anna Sophia Lundin, was born in the same county of Iowa where Mrs. Catt grew up. My grandparents, Anna Sophia and Artie Brookins, had a farm just outside of Ionia. My mother, Cleone Brookins, was born there in 1913 joining a sister Alice and a brother Clarence. Artie Brookins died in 1916. My grandmother never remarried and supported the family from farm income and as a housemother for a fraternity house at Cornell College. The family lived in various places: Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Ionia, Mount Vernon and Nashua, Iowa.

Cleone attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1937 with a degree in Home Economics. At Iowa State she met her future husband James Nickerson Warner who received his MSc in Dairy Science that same year.

After graduating from Iowa State, Cleone attended Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis for training as a Dietitian. From 1939-1940 she worked as a dietitian at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City. While working there she got to meet Carrie Chapman Catt who was a patient at St. Luke's.

In 1940, Cleone went to India to marry Jim Warner. Jim had gone to India in 1937 to teach in the Animal Husbandry and Dairy programs of the Allahabad Agricultural Institute under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church. Cleone and Jim ended up staying in India for nearly 40 years, until 1975. Cleone taught Home Economics and Nutrition to female students at the Agricultural Institute and also worked with its international students the Student Christian Movement organization and other student groups. She also was active within the community of missionaries and with activities at Woodstock School, the school attended by us four children.

In 1975, my parents retired from their work in India and returned to the United States. My father passed away very soon after his retirement. My mother was then living in Portland, Oregon were she was active in the League of Women Voters, the Democratic Party and her church; and worked as a regular volunteer for the senior citizen program, "Meals on Wheels." In 1986, she moved to a Presbyterian retirement center in California. She passed away in 2008 at the age of 95.

Submitted 7/1/96; updated 11/11/2013