The Scarlet oak is often mistaken for the pin oak, black oak, or red oak. It can be distinguished from these by it’s brilliant fall color and the sinuses between its lobes, which are “C”-shaped. The leaf surface is also hairless with 3-7 bristle shaped teeth on each of the 7 lobes. Scarlet Oaks are generally 20-30 m tall.
This tree has been designated as a Denison Memorial Tree in memory of Joe Warmke, Denison Book Store Manager, 1962 – 2013.
The Scarlet Oak Tree that stands near Slayter Hall (home of our Book Store) at Denison University was planted in the Winter of 2013 as a monument to the loss of our friend and colleague Mr. Joseph Emmer Warmke, manager of the Denison University Book Store for over 25 years before his untimely passing from complications of diabetes in Sept. 2013 at the too young age of 51 years.
As this tree grows its roots will soon run as deeply as Joe's, who was blessed with a large family of siblings as well as two amazing and wonderful daughters, Jill and Ciara, both of whom grew up in Granville.
Joe was a flawless administrator, always taking his time to treat each student who came through the store as a unique individual, and helped to create a fun and professional atmosphere that contributed to the massive growth in sales and efficiency over his long tenure.
When not helping to make Denison a better place, Joe loved to Golf and played several times a week, and had a “karate chop” drive that was tough to watch, but got the job done well.
He also loved to play the drums, having a full set in his house that he would play on while listening to his favorite bands on his headphones, Rush, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Yes, and more.
Joe also loved movies, Television shows like Seinfeld and Rescue Me, working in his yard, yelling at squirrels, and enjoying the company of his many friends.
Joe's passing was a shock to us all and one we may never fully recover from. His absence has left a void at Denison and indeed the Book Store that while saddening, fills us with the joy of our memories of his fun and youthful spirit.
Please do stroll past the Scarlet Oak and perhaps you can feel his spirit, and do feel free to share your memories you have of Joe below as well.