FRISCO, Texas — Within a few miles of Frisco’s town square is Warren Parkway and Warren Sports Complex.
The Warren name is everywhere in that fast-growing suburb, even on a historic clock on Main Street, which notes the founding of the city of Frisco occurred in 1908.
It wasn’t long after the city was founded that Bob Warren was born there, on Feb. 1, 1921.
He has dedicated much of his life to his hometown, and that town has dedicated many things to him. Frisco wouldn't be Frisco without Warren.
“I am proud," Warren said. I try not to let pride get in the way, but I am proud of what the city has done for me.”
But for the last few weeks, Warren just hasn’t been himself.
“Pretty empty,” he said.
Warren grew up in Frisco and played high school football there, when Frisco was little more than a few house and pastures.
“In 1936, I was 120 pounds and I was a blocker,” he said with a laugh. “I was so skinny they had to give me a jersey with one number on it. Two would have wrapped all the way around my back.”
He grew up to be a World War II pilot who flew C-47s over Europe. He was in the U.S. Air Force, worked for an oil company, and, in retirement, ran for Frisco city council and eventually was mayor for three terms.
But perhaps the favorite title he’s ever held is Aggie. He’s a member of Texas A&M University’s class of 1942.
“I don’t really know how to tell an outsider what Aggie rings mean to Aggies, but I can spot one across the room,” he said.
In early December, Warren, who lives independently in a retirement complex in Frisco, went to lunch at a Chick-Fil-A and then shopping at Walmart. Somewhere along the way, one of his most prized possessions slipped away.
“I came home and washed my hands and found that my Aggie ring was missing,” he said. “So we retraced our steps right quick and futilely searched. We could not find it anywhere.”
Warren’s daughter posted about the missing ring on Facebook, and her plea for help finding it was shared more than two thousand times.
“I got repeated emails from Aggies, all over, and they were helping me look,” Warren said with a smile. “They were going back to Walmart every day!”
Balfour, the maker of Aggie rings, heard about the loss from that Facebook post and on Feb. 1, which was Warren’s 98th birthday, he unwrapped a replacement.
Balfour manufactured an Aggie ring from 1942 and gave it to Bob free of charge.
“They did the impossible,” he said.
Warren actually still has his original Aggie ring – the one he received when he graduated. He'd worn it practically bare decades ago and in the 1960s his late wife bought him a replacement. He had never taken it off, and that one, which was sentimental for so many reasons, was the one he lost.
“The ring itself – I think it’s a thing of beauty. That’s probably because I’m an Aggie,” he said with a laugh. “When you lose that you lose part of your personality.”
Bob has re-married and his wife, Beth, has seen a spring in his step since that new ring arrived.
In their apartment, he pressed the paw of a stuffed Reveille, the Aggie mascot, and sang along to the Aggie War Hymn.
“Once an Aggie," he said, "always an Aggie."