The roofing industry is mourning the loss of Seth Warfield, who passed away on April 16 at the age of 78.
Warfield graduated from Lehigh University in 1965, where he majored in Industrial Engineering and stayed to complete a master's degree in Management Science (a.k.a. operations research). While at Lehigh he was a member of the Delta Phi Fraternity where he served in several leadership roles, including house manager. He also was a member of the service organization APO.
Following his graduate degree at Lehigh, Warfield joined the Babcock & Wilcox Company at its headquarters in Barberton, Ohio. Within three years he rose to manager of industrial and marine purchasing, where the was responsible for buying large, engineered power plant equipment and finely machined parts for the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine reactors.
In 1969, his father had a serious heart attack and asked Warfield to leave B&W to return to Washington to take the helm of the family business, Jack's Roofing Company. Willing to help and to take a detour in his career, Warfield moved his family back to Maryland.
He had worked in the family business summers growing up, but was returning to manage, not to roof. His plan was to grow the family business by opening an adjunct roofing supply company, The Roof Center. Ultimately, the supply business was incorporated as its own entity separate from the roofing business. Warfield was president of both for a number of years.
The Roof Center grew to 24 locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Texas. During those years, Warfield served on several corporate advisory boards for large manufacturing companies including CertainTeed, TAMKO and GAF. He was an early member of American Wholesale Ltd, a national buying cooperative and was its president for several years. When The Roof Center was sold to the United Company in 1998, Warfield was retained to continue running the business. The Roof Center was sold again in 2001 and Warfield decided to retire.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on May 14 in Easton, Md. A private interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association, PO Box 105, Glenolden, Pa. 19036.