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In Remembrance of Tom Warth

Tom Warth, who was Director/CEO of The Mountain for 20 years, died on May 20, 2020. He had been in failing health over the past year and is survived by his wife Jane, also a long-time Mountain staff member, his son Todd, and his grandson Hayden. The Warth’s other son, David, died earlier this year from cancer. Plans for a memorial service for Tom are on hold due to the pandemic.

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During Tom's time as Director and then CEO from 1990-2010, major improvements were made in The Mountain's physical plant including: 

  • Rebuilding the Lodge after it was destroyed by fire

  • Completing a new water system

  • Rebuilding, modernizing and winterizing almost all of the buildings including the REC Hall and the Dining Hall

  • Renovating the fire tower

  • Creating the memorial garden

  • Installing state-of-the-art high and low ropes/challenge courses

  • Purchasing the adjacent property at the base of The Mountain (Cabbage Patches) and creating a new entrance road

  • Creating a labyrinth

  • Building ramps into all major buildings so that the campus would be accessible to all

  • And creating the Many Hands Peace Farm.


As part of a major debt reduction initiative in 2007 and 2008, Tom guided the transition of most of the Mountain’s property into a conservation easement and worked closely with the land trust and investors involved in this effort, which gave the investors a tax credit. Prior to an affirmative vote in 2007 by Mountain members approving the initiative, Tom made multiple trips to gatherings of Mountain supporters to give a presentation and answer questions members had.


Tom had far-reaching dreams for The Mountain, and he worked tirelessly toward achieving  them. Among the many programmatic initiatives during Tom's tenure were: 

  • Leadership School for Social Justice for high school age youth

  • Milestone Learning Center

  • Learning Center for Leadership

  • Visioning for a second campus in northern Virginia 

  • Interfaith and peace initiatives

  • Visioning for a residential community and arts center at the base 

  • Young Adult Residency Program 

  • Weekend Mountain Institutes for Social Change, with well-known writers and musicians.


Together with long-time staff members Ian and Shelley Denham, Tom and Jane Warth formed the Mountain Quartet. With Shelley as music director, composer and arranger, the quartet performed during Mountain programs and events and for many UU congregations and gatherings to promote The Mountain. Their harmonizing and the words they sang were gifts to all who heard them.


- Trudy Deyle, Board Chair 2007-2012


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