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Former Library Director Dan Knoch
| Col­legian ArchivesLibrary staff planted a tree on campus last week to honor the memory of the late Library Director Dan Knoch, who died shortly before his retirement in 2019. 

“The metaphor of a tree seems appro­priate to me,” Knoch’s former library coworker Dan Jold­ersma said. “Geneal­o­gists often talk about the family tree. They trace roots and origins that form trunks, develop many branches which give rise to beau­tiful leaves, flowers, and seedlings.” 

On Sept. 23, Mossey library staff held a tree ded­i­cation cer­emony in honor of Knoch in the Her­itage Room. After working in tech­nical ser­vices for the library for 24 years, Knoch served as library director from 2000 until his retirement in 2019. 

“Dan loved his Ohio family,” Jold­ersma said. “He has deep roots in Ohio. One could say Dan developed a sturdy trunk in Hillsdale in service to the com­munity, to the college, to his church, and of course, to the Mossey Library.” 

College Chaplain Father Adam Rick con­ducted a brief service speaking to Knoch’s char­acter and the sig­nif­i­cance of the tree. 

“We give you thanks for the life, witness, and service of Dan Knoch, given to our college for so many years, and shared freely with his friends and family for a full and happy lifetime,” Rick said, “and we ded­icate this tree in his honor.” The tree is located near the campus amphitheater between Mossey Library and Delp Hall. 

“It’s won­derful to have him memo­ri­alized this way,” Knoch’s wife Carol said. “Campus obvi­ously meant a lot to him and he would walk by that area all the time because he would always walk down to swim every lunch.”

Knoch was a beloved figure of the Hillsdale com­munity, Library Director Maurine McCourry said. 

“He was funny and always very nice,” she said. “You mention Dan to anyone and they would say he was always wonderful.” 

“He was friends with everybody,” Nancy Craimer, a friend of Knoch, said. 

McCourry spoke of the 19-year work rela­tionship she had with Knoch and his humor. 

“He was such a joy to work with,” she said. “At the reception for his retirement, Dan had pre­pared remarks that were just the fun­niest thing.”

Knoch was also an active member in the Hillsdale com­munity, sitting on the zoning board for the citycouncil. 

“He always remem­bered people’s names,” Carol said. “At his funeral vis­i­tation, so many people said, ‘He always knew my name.’” 

A few of Knoch’s friends offered remarks in his memory. 

“Our wish today is that the roots of this tree planted spread strong and deep just as Dan did for every soul that he touched,” Jold­ersma said. “May the tree grow and blossom in memory of Dan and serve as a tribute to a life very well lived.”

Rick con­cluded the cer­emony in offering a blessing over the tree. 

“Today, we ded­icate this buckeye tree in Dan’s honor. We ask you Lord God to bless it and to grow it,” he said. May its roots grow firm and its branches grow abroad, and may you use its health and vitality to enkindle in us a reminder of the man whose life also flour­ished in this place.”