By Allen Rafalson
Chicago Jounralists Associaiton
This is personal. I recently lost my closest friend. I grieve.
Found his name in the 1939-2013 Chicago Press Veterans Association (renamed the Chicago Journalists Association) directory. He had chosen to list himself as a freelancer .True, but he was much more. He was one of us, a journalist and a damn good one!
When we first met, Warren was a business reporter for Chicago Today and I -once a magazine editor – now a public relations consultant who frequently visited newsrooms handing out press releases on behalf of my clients. Emails were not the order of the day and personal contact was SOP.
Nevertheless it was the beginning of a long and endearing friendship.
Moulds, 85, died of complications from lung cancer Dec.13 at his home in Geneva ,surrounded by JoAnn, his wife of 47 years, and family members. . He had been a Wheaton resident for 45 years before moving to Geneva last year.
The announcement of my energetic friend’s death was unexpected inasmuch as he was a tennis and skiing enthusiast who began long distance running in his 40s and ran the marathon well into his 70s.His daughter, Elizabeth, wrote: :” My dad was a writer, runner, skier, tennis player, beloved husband, father and big brother.”
Unfortunately, despite several invitations, never got to Geneva, although I have fond memories of the times spent with JoAnn and Warren at their Wheaton home, especially after my divorce. Their hospitality was overwhelming. After dinners, we moved to the living room where JoAnn and I enjoyed a glass of wine, Warren his beer. The conversation was light and we always ended reminiscing about our children. There were occasional rides to see a movie, sleepovers and trips downstairs where he had his laptop and work.
Warren was born in Chicago and grew up in Glen Ellyn, graduating in 1952 from Glenbard Township High School, now Glenbard West. He attended the University of Illinois before serving in the Navy for two years. After his discharge, he returned to U.of I. where he received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture-focused journalism.
His first job was working as a sports editor at the Belvidere Daily Republican in Belvidere, IL., afterward moving to Fairchild Publications .Next stop, Chicago Today, formerly the Chicago American, where he remained until the newspaper folded in 1974. The same year turned out to be a new beginning. Warren began a career in public relations.
He became director of media relations for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and its International Market, later joining Motorola in the same post. In 1983, he was appointed vice president of public relations for DesPlaines-based Delos Company and in 1990 took the job in media relations for CNA Financial.
Nine years later, he returned to journalism and began working as a freelance reporter for the Tribune’s West suburban editions until well into the 70s, although he stopped freelancing in 2005.
For many years, Warren and former Society Editor Margaret Carroll wrote and edited The Late Edition, a newsletter published for alumni of Chicago American and Chicago Today, funded by contributions from former colleagues. They also organized annual reunions until the newsletter was discontinued in 2017.
He had numerous friends. Among them, retired WTTW (Channel 11) producer Len Aronson, who in the 1960s and ‘70s worked as a reporter alongside Warren at the Chicago American and Chicago Today. “He was a journalistic pro with a healthy curiosity , a clean and balanced writing style, a great sense of humor and a more than normal capacity for forgiveness,” he said..
Warren called me a few days before he learned he had only three weeks to live. He bemoaned the fact that he could no longer be as active because his legs hurt and in general his health was fading. It was an unusually long conversation When we finished I heard him say goodbye …for the last time.
There will be a celebration of his life at 1 p.m., Jan.26, at the Thornhill Center at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Highway 53, Lisle.