Obituary: Warren Sewell Jr.

by Harry Sheff

Warren Sewell JrWarren Palmer Sewell, Jr., former CEO of the Bremen, Ga.-based Warren Sewell Clothing Co., has died. He was 84.

Sewell, a graduate of the University of Georgia and a Captain in the Air Force, joined the clothing business his father, Warren Palmer Sewell, Sr. started, eventually becoming chief executive. Warren Sewell Clothing was founded in 1945 and currently sells tailored clothing under the Warren Sewell, Dino Nardiello, Bar W/S and Zino brands.

The International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives (IACDE) named Warren Sewell, Jr. “Manufacturer of the Year” in 1999.

“For over 60 years Warren epitomized all the Sewell family has hoped to stand for. He loved his immediate family, and was lucky enough to find his Southern Belle while in college at the University of Georgia. Warren was married to Aunt Mary for 61 beautiful years,” wrote Robin Sewell Worley, CEO of the company and nephew of Warren, in a statement.

He continued, “This same fierce attachment carried over to his extended family as well. I would watch in amazement as Warren would walk through the Sewell factories, calling out each person by name and then asking about their personal welfare. During the golden manufacturing years of the 1960’s and ’70’s there were more than 1,500 workers and the production was around 15,000 garments per week! Warren’s concern for employee welfare was instrumental in the creation of an on-site day care center for the employees with children. Many times Warren would quietly help individuals with their specific needs without publicity. As chairman of the Warren Sewell Foundation, he made sure that support was given to employee’s area of interest, especially the churches and schools of the West Georgia and East Alabama areas. Since its creation in 1948, the Warren Sewell Foundation has given over $12 million to its community. It was this type of love for his people that stands as the major reason our employees never voted in a union.

“I will miss Uncle Warren and his positive influence over so many lives he touched as a true Southern Gentleman. His father, Warren Sewell Sr., would be so proud to know his son accomplished leadership at its highest level—success as both a business man and loving family man of honor.”

Sewell is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Kay Lore and Valee Penn, and grandsons Stephen and William Lore. A funeral was held on December 20 at Northside United Methodist Church in Atlanta.