Date of Birth:August 12, 1933
Date of Death:March 29, 2023 - View or Post a Eulogy
Duty, Honor, Country & Family
March 29, 2023 General Woerner passed away peacefully in his home in South Carolina. Services will be announced at a later date. Woodridge Funeral Home in Lexington, SC is assisting the family with arrangements.
General Woerner, retired four-star general of the United States Army, was the former Commander-in-Chief of United States Southern Command, former Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission, and Professor Emeritus of Boston University. He was born in 1933, in a working class neighborhood of Philadelphia. He was the son of the late Frederick Frank Woerner, Sr. and Mary (McCabe) Woerner, directors of the Lighthouse Boys/Girls Club, a benevolent organization for the youth of Philadelphia.
He attended William Penn Charter School under an endowment. He graduated in 1951 and in 1996 he was recognized with the Alumni Award of Merit. Upon graduation he received a Congressional nomination to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1955. It was there, upon a blind date where the stars began to align, he met and married the love of his life, Gennie.
General Woerner's military career began as a 2nd lieutenant in the First Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, Hawaii; culminating in 1989 as Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command, Panama. During his career, he earned the Ranger Tab, Airborne Master Jump Wings, and his Combat Infantry Badge in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
After 34 years of service, General Woerner retired and entered the academia world where he became Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He left Boston University after 13 years of teaching with the honor of Professor Emeritus.
General Woerner was a Presidential appointee as Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission. In addition to safe guarding the cemeteries around the world for our fallen Soldiers, his commission was tasked in the creation and construction of the World War II Memorial, located on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
He and Gennie retired for a second time to Gilbert, SC and Lake Murray. Like a true military family, this would be their 33rd home. Never really retiring, he continued his belief in volunteerism; at Harvest Hope Food Bank and especially reading to elementary school children where he was able to share his legendary story-telling. His sense of giving back was with him all his life - from camp counselor, to Peace Corps type work with the Maryknoll priests for the Indians in the mountains of Guatemala, to founding soccer leagues in Carlisle, Pa, to the WWII Memorial. He was the kindest, finest, most humble man. But humility stopped when he, with broad shoulders, would proudly talk about his four sons, nine grandsons, and one great grandson.
General Woerner is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Gennie (Ehrhorn) Woerner; sons, Fred Woerner (Jane) of Spartanburg, SC, Chip Woerner (Sarah) of Alamo, CA, Rob Woerner of Gilbert, SC, Michael Woerner of Concord, CA; grandsons, Freddie Woerner (Hayden), Michael Woerner, William Woerner, Kieran Woerner, Kristian Woerner, Liam Woerner, Charlie Woerner, Justin Woerner, Jack Woerner; great grandson, Griffin Woerner; his sister Marilou and husband Jerry Jilbert of Evans, GA. He is also survived by a large and loving extended family.
In lieu of flowers, General Woerner requested that memorials may be made to the William Penn Charter School, in the name of his father.
William Penn Charter School
c/o Fred F. Woerner, Sr. Endowment
3008 West School House Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19144