A new bench sits in front of The Perry Chief’s window. While the bench matches others found along Second Street, this one features a plaque honoring Joe Warnock.

The plaque reads Joe Warnock (1959-2017) Nudger of distinction, friend.

Those words were echoed by Nudgers President Cindy Sohn during a dedication of the bench on a blustery Wednesday morning.

Sohn welcomed the crowd gathered in front of the bench on April 10. She thanked Warnock’s wife, Joanne, for being there, as well as a couple of Joe’s friends. Though she was quick to point out that they are all friends.

“(Joe) was not just a Nudger, he was our friend,” Sohn said.

She added that through a fundraiser in August of 2018, the Nudgers were able to purchase a memorial bench to honor Joe.

“Joe gave a 100 percent in everything he did. He was a perfectionist,” Sohn said. “He gave not only to the community, but especially to our downtown. He’s left his stamp in a lot of places.”

One of those stamps is on the Eagles building, at 1316 2nd St. The building, which now hosts The Perry Chief and most recently, Zion Recovery Services, was the last one Warnock helped the Nudgers to renovate.

“We thought this was the best way to pay tribute to our friend Joe,” Sohn said.

She wrapped up the dedication while fighting tears as she said his “presence is missed and he will forever be in our hearts and minds.”

Joanne Warnock said Joe took his duties as a Nudger very seriously, though she joked that he always had to be reminded about attending meetings.

“He tried to bring in the best people he could recruit because he took it really seriously. He always gave his opinion because he wanted things to be done right,” Joanne said.

Cheri Scheib added that she and Sandy Grubbs got involved because of Joe Warnock.

Joanne told the group that she appreciated both the memorial bench and the crowd gathered to dedicate it on April 10.