Longtime Venturan Edmund “Ed” Warren passed away peacefully with his daughter Deborah at his side early Thursday morning, April 21, 2016. Ed and his wife Hilda Warren were together for over sixty years.
Ed was born March 20, 1929 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania the third child of Ukrainian and Polish parents during the Great Depression, Ed’s early life taught him a strong work ethic. He often told stories of selling hot dogs or shoveling coal for movie money. The family moved from Pennsylvania to Binghamton, New York, and eventually settled in Southern California. Ed was drafted into the army and sent to fight in Korean in 1950.
After returning from war Ed met Hilda. The two married in 1954 and opened their first coffee shop, the Koffee Mug, in North Hollywood. This was the beginning of a beautiful, life-long restaurant career. Ed and Hilda moved to Ventura, opening the first Warren’s restaurant at 478 E. Main St. in 1963. They would later open another Warren’s on Loma Vista and in 1970 bought a Ventura landmark building on Santa Clara St. This Victorian house-turned restaurant began as the Santa Clara House but would soon be the Big Green House.
Many Venturans grew up with the Big Green House’s signature family style menu known for “chicken, steak and chocolate cake.” Ed and a partner took this formula and opened a string of Longfellow’s restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Eventually, Ed sold his interest in the restaurants to focus on Ventura. If you ever dined downtown, chances are you may have been dining at a restaurant Ed Warren put his heart and soul into. His last venture before retiring in 2003, the iconic Busy Bee restaurant downtown is still going strong and keeping the 50s alive.
Ed lived life to the fullest. He and Hilda raised four children and subsequently are the grandparents of eight and great-grandparents of sixteen. In his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his family, deer hunting with friends, soaking up the California sun and staying on top of local politics. Ed fell in love with his adopted city of Ventura and never gave up on his vision of a thriving, local economy.
If you were lucky enough to know Ed, you knew he was a born entrepreneur, generous, loved his family and always spoke his mind. Our family and Ventura will miss him dearly. Funeral services will be held Monday, April 25 at 11:00 am at Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home (located at 757 E Main St., Ventura, CA 93001).