It is easy to describe Tim as an iconic figure in our industry. As the founder of WIMCO in 1983, he was a true pioneer in the villa rental industry, and helped to establish St. Barths as the perennially popular destination that it is today. His professional accolades aside, we remember Tim as a larger-than-life personality, sometimes tough, yet always kindhearted. He was driven by a desire to do good things and he infused his personal virtues into WIMCO’s core values.
On the WIMCO experience: “It’s all about goodness for the client”
On Enduring Relationships: “We seek a lifelong relationship with our clients built on “acts” of goodness”
On Service: “We possess the heart of a devoted servant, the candor of a confident, independent-minded counselor who has one’s best interests in mind, and a desire to please in a friendly manner”
We will all remember Tim chartering a yacht to treat the staff to a day on the water in his beloved Newport, the Christmas dinners, the times that as a company he encouraged us all to get back on our feet after being impacted by a hurricane, a recession, a pandemic. He will be greatly missed, however, his legacy lives on in the manner in which we care for our clients. Tim’s virtues remain the guiding principles of WIMCO. With his passing, he has bequeathed them to us. So, with a sense of humility, we can honor Tim by being ever mindful of his legacy.
Barclay Harding Warburton IV, known to his friends as Tim, passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife Julie and daughters Lila and Heather, following a brave battle with Covid pneumonia.
Born in Beverly, Massachusetts to Barclay Harding Warburton III and Margarett Sargent McKean, Tim grew up on the working dairy farm, Saracen Farm, with his five siblings. At age 10, he had his first foray in travel, attending school at La Clairière and Le Rosey in Switzerland. He continued his education at St. Andrews School in Florida, Hyde School in Maine, and Boston University before enlisting in the US Merchant Marines. He then served as a navigator in the United States Navy, crossing the Pacific twice during the Vietnam War.
A consummate entrepreneur, Tim founded the Connecticut Valley Boatworks in 1976 and the Vermont Oak Company, before joining his sister-in-law in the hospitality and travel industry. In 1984 he helped pioneer the tourism market in St. Barthélemy, offering villas to rent with his company West Indies Management Company (WIMCO). Leaning on his French fluency and natural leadership, Tim owned and ran WIMCO for 37 years, with a dedicated team both in Newport, Rhode Island and in St. Barths. He sold WIMCO in December, three months prior to his passing.
Tim’s love of sailing brought him across the Atlantic twice, as well as many trips throughout the Bahamas and New England, aboard his father’s brigantine Black Pearl. He raced regularly—from Newport, to Bermuda, from Malmo to Travemünde—and every ship he boarded benefitted from his skill and full-tilt enthusiasm. Moreover, the founding of the American Sail Training Organization was borne from the 1972 Tall Ships voyage to Europe that he took with his brother and father. In the summer, Tim could often be seen walking down Banisters Wharf, white shorts, a pink baseball cap, canvas bag in tow, smile beaming in anticipation for a day out on the water.
Tim collected an empire of friends; he was in the center of a group wherever he went, and was the first to pull up a chair for someone to join. As comfortable in a restaurant as he was in his own kitchen, Tim loved cooking, creating a feast or a simple meal for those he held dear, sharing his enthusiasm for all things delicious. He was well-read and welcomed debate on foreign affairs, politics and the economy, and had a true talent for writing. Tim was also an active member of the Spouting Rock Beach Association, the New York Yacht Club, and the Clambake Club of Newport.
Above all, Tim’s strong values, love for life, humor and grace have inspired his family and legions of friends around the world. His love for family so evident, they spent much time together in St. Barths and Newport, his joy growing with each new grandchild. He is survived by his wife of nearly 36 years, Julie, their daughters Lila and Heather, four grandchildren, Nicolo, Matteo and Olympia Benatoff and Lleyton Hodge. He is also survived by his loving siblings Minnie, Miranda, Rosie and Peter Warburton, and pre-deceased by his sister Jenny Reed.
A memorial in his honor will be held at 10:30 the morning of Tuesday, April 5 at Trinity Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders. A donation in his name is greatly appreciated.