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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

William H. Warneke

William Howard Warneke, “Billy,” as he was called by family and friends, was an avid outdoorsman. He was born in Hemet, California, on August 13, 1987, to Kathie Holland and Harry Warneke. He was raised in the country and was instilled with the morals of country living—love for country, integrity, honesty, and pride in one’s work. He lived each day with courage.

His courageous spirit led him to enlist in the United States Marine Corps when he was 17 and to serve a combat tour in Iraq. After honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps, he attended Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, where he earned his EMT-B, graduated from the college’s fire academy, took additional courses at the Arizona Wildfire Academy, and earned a degree in fire science with a 3.55 GPA.

When he was not working, he was learning something new. He frequently purchased books to read about his favorite topics: military history, reloading ammunition, construction, carpentry, landscaping, animal husbandry, archery, hunting, and wildlife. At the first opportunity he had, he would apply his new knowledge into his life, whether it was building a chicken coop or fixing a broken something around the house.

Billy would always lend a helping hand without expecting a reward. He was always the gentleman, opening doors and pulling out chairs. He would help a child with their homework or help them to overcome their fears through patience, understanding, and tutelage. The children in the neighborhood where he and his wife lived knew that Billy would always help them out if they had a fundraiser. Billy would buy items from their catalogs and take all of the vehicles to their carwashes.

Billy loved to laugh and to play pranks on his wife or siblings. He was easygoing and quick to smile. He viewed everyday casually and as another day for adventure. A few days a week he would enjoy the things he loved doing—hunting, fishing, and mountaineering.

Billy possessed honor, high morals, and unwavering loyalty. He always strived to be the best in everything that he did, which led him to the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. He believed that Granite Mountain IHC was a hotshot crew that deserved his admiration and respect.
He made a commitment to himself that he would earn a coveted position in their ranks, which he fulfilled.

Billy is survived by his wife, Roxanne, and his daughter, Billie Grace.

Memorial Posts


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  1. God bless you brother. God has blessed you with a beautiful little girl. RIP my friend. Your family is safe in their new home.

    – Gator
  2. Billy, we all reminisce with our TBT’s and reunions and it’s hard to picture you not being here to make more memories. You were a wonderful leader, a wonderful friend, you inspired people to make the best out of themselves. You are missed so much by so many people whose lives you touched. May you RIP Warneke.

    – Jessica
  3. oh my gosh Billy you are so missed, I think of you every single day, I talk to you, I know you hear me.

    – Marcia holland Phillips
  4. billy, you will be missed every day, you will be in my thoughts every day, billy you have made me a better stronger person

    – Marcia holland Phillips
  5. Roxy and Billy are not just friends, they are like a son and daughter to me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Billy, with his full of life smile and the warmth he touched everyone with. He always brought so much character to every situation, even when he was spilling a drink or dumping guacamole on my furniture

    – Melissa Vialpando
  6. Billy my heart breaks every day knowing you sacrificed all for your fellow man, but we will never be without your watchful spirit. We Love you Billy!

    – Frederick C. Warneke
  7. As soon as i got word of your fall, to this day, i can’t help but wonder how diff life would’ve been if we had stuck together. Rest well, brethren

    – Frank tovias
  8. We served in Ar Ramadi together. Semper Fi my brother

    – Shaun Eatherly
  9. I knew Warneke very well. I served with him in 2/4. He always put others first before him, he was always a listener. He watched what others did and did things better, he was a real leader of men. I will always love you brother, I hope to see you on the other side.

    – Stuart Watkins
  10. Roxanne,
    Please know on this the 7th anniversary of Billy’s death that he will never be forgotten by his firefighter family.

    – LISA Hopman