Col. Warren E. “Skip” Sweetser III, USMC (retired), died peacefully at home in Verona with his family by his side on Nov. 17, 2020. He was 81.
Col. Sweetser, who his family said enjoyed all that Montclair had to offer over the past 15 years after moving to Verona to be close to his grandchildren, was born in Boston. He lived all over the country, growing up as the elder son of Brig. Gen. Warren E. “Ned” Sweetser Jr., USMC (retired), and Janice Davis Sweetser.
He graduated from Fishburne Military Academy in Waynesboro, Va. As a plebe at the U.S. Naval Academy, he was recruited to join the crew team and found a lifelong passion. Upon graduation from the Academy in 1960, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
Col. Sweetser served 33 years as a Marine. During the Vietnam War he saw duty aboard the USS Galveston and, in a second tour, as an adviser to the Vietnamese Marine Corps in the Mekong Delta.
In 1969 he returned to the Naval Academy as an instructor in the weapons department and as a crew coach. Following that assignment, he served at Camp Lejeune, N.C., at Headquarters Marine Corps and in Rhode Island at the Naval War College, where he graduated “With Highest Distinction.”
His career was highlighted with a number of commands, including the First Battalion 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune. One of his proudest accomplishments was to be one of the oldest Marines, at 45, to graduate from Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Ga.
Col. Sweetser ended his career working with NATO as the Fleet Marine Officer for the Second Fleet in Europe and Norfolk, Va.
His personal decorations included two Bronze Star medals with Combat ”V,” the Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation medals with Combat “V,” the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy and Meritorious Unit Commendation medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
The biggest part of Col. Sweetser’s world was the love of his life, his wife of 59 years, Nancy. Their life together spanned 21 houses in seven states. He was a happily devoted husband, father and grandfather with a huge heart and a warm welcome.
He and his wife were instrumental in their seven grandchildren’s lives, driving in carpools, babysitting and watching high school sports events. He was a fixture at Watchung School fifth- grade moving-up ceremonies, Glenfield plays and MKA lacrosse games. He cherished the clipping of granddaughter Claire Linaugh’s “Athlete Spotlight” from the May 9, 2019, Montclair Local.
Besides his wife, he is survived by their four children, Susann, Wes, Janice and Seth, and their families. A celebration of his life will be held in August 2021.
Arrangements were by Shook’s Cedar Grove Funeral Home.