How a Small Town in East Texas Gave Kelcy Warren the Foundation for a Successful Life

Kelcy Warren, the youngest of four boys, was born in 1955 in Gladewater, Texas, a small town located in the eastern part of the state. His father, who worked for Sun Oil as a ditchdigger and gauger, eventually worked his way up to the position of field clerk. Kelcy expresses pride in his father, despite his limited education, stating “My father had only a high school education, and I am so proud of what he was able to do with his life.” He describes his father as an “amazing man” who was not driven by ambition, but rather content with his job which allowed him time to attend high school football games and socialize with friends at the local coffee shop. Kelcy admires his father’s kind and friendly nature, noting that he “was a sweet guy” who never swore or spoke negatively about others, calling him “remarkable.”

According to Warren, his mother, who worked in a department store, had a strong emphasis on education. Despite not finishing her own high school education, she made it a priority for her sons to graduate and go on to college. He states, “She pounded that into our heads from the very beginning.” Warren’s older brother was the first person in their family to receive a college education, which is a point of pride for Warren and his family. It is clear that Warren’s family had a strong positive influence on the person he is today.

Fond Hometown Memories

Warren has fond memories of growing up in his small hometown, where everyone knew each other. Religion played a significant role in his family’s life, with the Baptist church being central to it. Warren states “If the church doors were open, we went in” and his family attended church twice on Sundays. The family were also actively involved in the Boy Scouts, with his mother serving as his den leader when he was young and his father as his Scoutmaster. His parents were also active in their community, with his father serving as president of the school board and his mother as president of the PTA. Warren feels fortunate to have had such loving and involved parents, believing it gave him an advantage over some of his peers.

Growing up, the Warren household often struggled with financial concerns, despite both parents working. To supplement their income, the family considered various options, including opening a trailer park. Additionally, Warren’s father took on a paper route to bring in extra money. Despite the early hours, Warren’s father found comfort in the peacefulness of the early morning and would start his route as early as 2:30 AM. However, Warren would often have to wake up to assist with the deliveries. Although he didn’t appreciate having to do it then, he now acknowledges that it taught him the value of hard work. 

Starting at the age of 12, Warren began taking on various odd jobs to earn money. These included hauling hay and working at a gas station for 30 cents per hour. As he grew older, he took on work that was related to the oilfield industry. This included being part of a team that repaired oilfield leaks, working as a welder’s helper, doing pipeline construction, and maintaining telephone lines for meter reading as a lineman. Warren’s father always encouraged him to work and save money during his teenage years.

Climbing the Ladder in Young Adulthood

After graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 1978, Warren was hired by Lone Star Gas Company as a pipeline design engineer. He then joined Endevco, a small energy development company, in 1981, where he began working on the commercial side of energy development.

Kelcy’s Advice to Today’s Young People

Kelcy Warren often advises young people to be honest with themselves and strive for balance in their lives. He emphasizes the importance of not neglecting other important aspects of one’s life while pursuing ambition. He admits that he is still working on achieving balance in his own life, but has made progress in recent years.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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