News Flash


Posted on: November 19, 2020

Warren Harper, City's first African American firefighter, passes

Warren Harper, Nov. 16, 1943 - Nov. 14, 2020

The City of Lenoir extends our condolences to the family of Mr. Warren Harper, who passed away Saturday Nov. 14, 2020. Mr. Harper served as the City of Lenoir's first African American firefighter.

Mr. Harper retired from the City of Lenoir Fire Department in 1999 after 30 years of dedicated service. Fire Department Chief Ken Hair, then an engineer, worked with Mr. Harper for the last seven years of Mr. Harper's career with the City.

"On behalf of the City of Lenoir Fire Department, we would like to extend our sincere condolences for the family of Warren Harper," Chief Hair said. "We will truly miss Mr. Harper, who was affectionately known as 'High Pockets' because he was a mountain of a man. In his day, he was one of the best firefighters this department had ever seen. He always faced challenges head on, which led to him being the first African American firefighter hired by the City of Lenoir. Even though he blazed the trail by being the first African American firefighter, he preferred being known simply as a City of Lenoir firefighter instead. Mr. Harper was accepted as one of the guys because of his character, and that allowed him to charter the path of diversity for others to follow at Lenoir Fire Department. He mentored and helped develop many young firefighters at the department during his tenure. He will be remembered for being full of life and never meeting a stranger. He was a friend to all and an absolute joy to be around."

Mr. Harper's obituary and information about his funeral service is online at!/Obituary.

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