Brian G. Warner

— Brian G. Warner

VOORHEESVILLE — Brian Warner enlisted in the United States Air Force in October 1973, and over the span of the next 20 years, he would advance to the rank of master sergeant, considered “one of the most significant promotions within the enlisted Air Force,” and would find himself plunged into one of history’s most consequential moments.

He died on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. He was 64.

Brian G. Warner was born on April 21, 1955 in Albany to Frank and Grace (née Gerard) Warner. His mother was a homemaker and a bookkeeper for Montgomery Ward; his father was a professional photographer for the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, known today as National Grid. 

Mr. Warner grew up in Voorheesville. While the woman who would become his wife, Barbara Perkins, moved to Voorheesville in the eighth grade.

“One of my friends is his cousin, and she said, ‘He would like to meet you.’ So, she introduced us,” Mrs. Warner said. “We dated through junior and senior year of high school.”

Mrs. Warner graduated from Voorheesville’s high school in 1972; Mr. Warner followed a year later, and the year after that, 1974, the couple married; Mr. and Mrs. Warner were married for 45 years. 

Asked what made her, at barely 20 years old, know that Mr. Warner was the person with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life, Mrs. Warner replied, “It was just that connection; we clicked,” adding that the man who would become her husband “was always there when I needed him.” 

Mr. Warner joined the Air Force in October 1973, and following basic and then technician training, the couple was stationed in San Antonio before being dropped into ground zero of the Cold War.

The Warners were sent from Texas to Allied-controlled West Berlin, Germany, which at that time had been entirely surrounded by Soviet-controlled East Germany, and separated from East Berlin by the 27-mile long and 12-foot high Berlin Wall.

“We lived very close to Checkpoint Charlie,” Mrs. Warner said of the best-known Berlin Wall crossing during the Cold War. “It was scary at times; you could hear gunfire sometimes — but Berlin is a beautiful city and we really enjoyed our tour there.”

Mrs. Warner worked as a charge nurse during her time in West Berlin. It was also during this time that the couple’s eldest daughter, Anastasia, was born in 1979.

Following a brief stop in Colorado Springs, the young family was transferred to England in 1981, and stationed at both RAF Upper Heyford, a Royal Air Force station located about 60 miles northwest of London, and RAF Croughton, a Royal Air Force station in Northamptonshire, located about 30 miles northeast of RAF Upper Heyford.

In 1983, the couple’s youngest daughter, Stephany, was born in England.

After four years in England, the family was transferred to California, only to be transferred back to England four years later and stationed for a second time at RAF Croughton. 

Mrs. Warner said of her family’s second stint in England, “We lived off base” in a small village, whose residents “threw us a welcome-home party … They closed off the street, they had dancing, and had tables set up with all kinds of food.”

She continued, “We were the only Americans in the village; we made lifelong friends who we still keep in touch with.”

After 20 years of service, Mr. Warner retired from the Air Force and the family moved home to Voorheesville. In “retirement,” Mrs. Warner said that her husband worked for Automated Dynamics in Schenectady, the Simmons Company, and NSK Steering Systems America in Bennington, Vermont.

“He was a very intelligent man, who could work very well with his hands,” Mrs. Warner said of her husband. “And if he didn’t have the tools, he could make the tools to fix it; he was very gifted that way.” 

“Brian enjoyed building models, deep-sea fishing trips and family time. Brian was known to be able to fix anything and was once presented with a ‘MacGyver Award,’” Mr. Warner’s family wrote in a tribute. 

Mr. Warner had been a member of the Voorheesville American Legion Post 1493, and was a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign War and the New Scotland Presbyterian Church. 

“The family wishes to thank many individuals for the compassion and care shown to Brian during this difficult time including: Dr. Kambam at New York Oncology Hematology; the Doctors and Staff at Albany Medical Center; the Community Hospice, especially nurse Sue and social worker Nick. We would also like to thank Reverend Holly Cameron for her continuous prayers and support during this difficult time,” Mr. Warner’s family wrote in a tribute. 


Brian G. Warner is survived by his wife, Barbara; his daughters Anastasia Alberti and her husband, Vincent, of Holland, and Stephany McKinley and her husband, Robert, of Voorheesville; by his grandchildren Layla McKinley and Juliette Alberti; and by an aunt and an uncle, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

His sister, Deborah Warner, died before him. 

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., on Thursday, Oct. 24, at New Scotland Presbyterian Church, 2010 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands. Interment with military honors is scheduled later in the day, at 2 p.m., at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville, NY 12871.

Mourners may leave condolences online at

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice Gift Processing Center, 310 South Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208. 

— Sean Mulkerrin 

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