Friends of Oberlin Village is supported by a dedicated group of volunteers who keep the organization thriving and moving forward in its mission to honor Oberlin Village. We are so proud of these FOV members and encourage you to read on to learn more about our previously Celebrated Volunteers.

Sue Adley Warrick bbq 2019 -1

Sue Adley-Warrick

A silent servant of the Oberlin Community and the Friends of Oberlin Village transitioned on July 17, 2023. Sue Adley-Warrick was one of the earliest volunteers for the Friends of Oberlin Village and her commitment to our organization and community never wavered. Sue worshipped at the Friends Meeting House located on Tower Street in the Oberlin community. Sue was meticulous in her research, compassionate in her interactions and committed to magnifying the needs of the Oberlin community. Sue’s contributions were numerous, the projects noted below are just a highlight of her contributions that helped to strengthen FOV and the community.

Sue served as a founding member of the FOV Board and served as the Secretary. Sue assisted in the transition of FOV from a grassroots organization to a nonprofit organization. She located a law firm that provided pro bono services for drafting our bylaws, many of which Sue helped to write. Sue was FOV's expert on navigating the bylaws, regulations, and acronyms used by the Raleigh City Council and committee leaders at their meetings. She was able to construct strong arguments by calculating and using the City's complex regulations and metrics to speak in support of preserving the Oberlin community at hearings generated by developers. Sue helped to change the name of the lane in the condo development next to the Historic Turner House from Cameron Way to Oberlin Village Drive.

She was a member of the WTUMC sewing ministry, which on two occasions crafted quilts that were raffled as a FOV fundraiser. In addition, Sue and the WTUMC sewing ministry hand quilted Legacy Totes that Sue donated to FOV. Sue and her husband Lyle were also regulars at the Historic Oberlin Cemetery clean ups.

Sue’s commitment and graciousness will always be remembered and will serve as an example of true humanity.

Cheryl Williams-Cropped

Cheryl Crooms Williams

A descendant of one of the founding families of Oberlin, Cheryl Crooms Williams returned home and thrives in researching and sharing the rich history of the community. For many years, Cheryl’s maternal Turner family ancestors served as the sexton of the Oberlin Cemetery. Today Cheryl continues the stewardship of the National Historic Oberlin Cemetery by serving as the Chair of the FOV cemetery committee. This committee hosts the multiple community cemetery “straighten ups” that have transformed the cemetery from a place of disrepair to a place of dignity. After retirement and several requests to help us grow, Cheryl kept to her promise and joined the Friends of Oberlin Village. In addition, to her devotion to the cemetery she has served as a Board Member and the Education Chair. Her “boots on the ground” request for signatures was vital to the establishment of the Oberlin Historic Overlay District. Attendees of the FOV guided walking tours especially enjoy her narration of the rich history of Oberlin. We thank Cheryl for being such a passionate advocate of our organization and community!

Headshot of Chris Mincey

Chris Mincey

Oberlin resident Chris Mincey is a pursuer of good trouble and a force of nature! Since joining FOV in June 2020 he has forged valuable FOV partnerships between friends, businesses, and organizations across the City. Chris became a Board member in 2021 and in this capacity serves as the Director of Development which is very compatible with his professional job as the Sales Director with Trophy Brewing (TB). Chris has really raised the bar, no pun intended on working tirelessly to raise funds for our organization. Working with TB he curated a limited-edition Oberlin Village Beer in 2020 and again in 2021. He also led the awesome team of City-wide volunteers to organize two inaugural Oberlin Village Heritage 5K. Why two? Because the originally scheduled date was cancelled the eve of the event due to storm damage on the course; however, Chris was able to lead the rescheduling and restaging of the event for three weeks later! He is a force of nature indeed!

Swade Sanders Portrait

Swade Sanders, Sr.

Another majestic oak has been lost in the Oberlin community; Swade D. Sanders, Sr. transitioned on May 3, 2022, two days after his 91st birthday. Although Swade resided in Method, a vanishing Black settlement near the fairgrounds, his passion for Oberlin was never ending. Swade had been a member of the FOV predecessor, Oberlin Neighborhood Association, and although it disbanded in the ‘80’s he continued without fanfare or recognition to maintain the Oberlin cemetery using his weed eater and own funds. Those of you who have attended our Celebrate Oberlin community gathering have undoubtedly enjoyed Swade's homemade pound cake, which he made with love and donated annually.

Serving 26 years with Greyhound, Swade helped to break racial barriers. In 1964 he was the first Black driver in Central North Carolina and one of two in the entire state. Swade joined Oberlin Baptist Church in 1952 and later served as the Chair of the Deacon Board. Swade was a stellar example of how small acts of kindness can bond a community and initiate conversations towards reconciliation. We will dearly miss him but will continue to honor his legacy through FOV's core values. 

Becky Boston

Rebecca Boston

Becky has shared her gifts of leadership, organization, and communication with FOV since 2014. You may have seen her leading tours, serving BBQ, weeding the cemetery, or recording the monthly minutes. A William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the NCSU Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology, Becky started volunteering with FOV by attending one of the cemetery cleanups, and has been a regular, along with her husband Scott, ever since. Her passion for educating the community through the stories of Historic Oberlin Village is clear as she leads and organizes group tours. By sharing all of these skills, along with her friendly and dependable nature, Becky has had a meaningful impact on the growth and success of FOV!

Mable Scarver Patterson

Mable Scarver Patterson

Mable Patterson has been a proud and strong voice for keeping alive the memory of our beloved community. Mable is an extremely talented poet and writer and has served as FOV’s poet laureate for Oberlin. Her love for the community inspired Mable to reach out to current and former residents of Oberlin and sell over 70 of our historic Oberlin notecard packets. At 85 years young, she is the only person on Oberlin Road who still resides in the home in which she was raised. The gabled style bungalow was purchased in 1923 by her maternal grandfather, Seaton Gales Turner. Mable was a teacher for 39 years and has been a lifetime member of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church. Her handprints can be found among the cast impressions on the Oberlin Rising sign.

Ruth Little wearing a red sweater holding award

Dr. M. Ruth Little

Dr. M. Ruth Little recently published the article, “Rooted in Freedom, North Carolina’s Freedman’s Village of Oberlin, an Antebellum Free Black Enclave” published in North Carolina Historical Review, October 2020.

Ruth a historian, has a Ph. D. in art and architecture and has published nine books on North Carolina architecture and decorative arts. Two of her research specialties are Black history and historic cemeteries. Ruth moved to Oberlin Village in 2016 and is one of the founding members of the Friends of Oberlin Village. She documented Oberlin Cemetery as a Raleigh Historic Landmark, wrote the Oberlin Village Historic District Report, and listed Oberlin Cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. Congratulations Ruth!