Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Former President of Friends of Dean Park Resigns

At Dean Park on Juneteenth Day, June 1, 2019, it was revealed to the crowd that Dr. Richard Moncrief, former president of Friends of Dean Park, Inc., (FODP) had submitted his letter of resignation from the organization to expand his ministry in other areas and to pursue other interests. He also will resign from his training position as a Landscaper and Community Organizer from the grant that FODP has with Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) also known as The National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA)

His intended resignation was a sad day for its members and the county as he has been a member for more than 11 years – as vice president for 4 years and president for 4 years. It was noted by President/Co-founder, Elmetra Patterson that Dr. Moncrief had helped to complete many projects at Dean Park and throughout the county as a member of FODP. Many of the trees, flowers and shrubbery at Dean Park were planted by him. One of the most recent accomplishments was that he, Dr. Willie Goss, Jr. and the Sunshine Boys repaired the twelve nine year old Raised Garden Beds. Dr. Moncrief and his wife, Sandra painted them. Sandra Moncrief, painted art of vegetables and garden insects on the beds. He painted the antique Merry-Go-Round that is the favorite playground equipment for the children. The paint for both projects was donated by Walmart #183 with Matthew Wisecup as manager. He planted 12 trees on the land adjacent to Dean Park which is known as the future home of the Olly Dailey Community Center as his last project which is leased by FODP.

Mrs. Patterson humorously announced that Dr. Moncrief’s letter of resignation would not be accepted until he completed a historical tree project that was started April 14, 2012 but needed the name plaques place near them. Three Princeton American Elm Trees were planted in memory of:

1) Plummy Shields who for years kept a 'watchful eye' on Dean Park and for years was a faithful volunteer servant at Dean Park. He donated many hours to the maintenance of the park and worked as a security guard when the county fair was held at the park. His widow is Zettie Shields and his daughter is Sylvia Beck;
2) Lee Howard and Laura Eleby Eichelberger who donated a portion of their land on October 8, 1946 for the development of the Negro 4-H Club Youth Park and to make Dean Park's boundaries encompass the pond as it is today. They are the parents of Ollie, Ethel, Doris, Eldora, Lee Jr., David, Bob, Willie Therman, Otis, Dornell, Edna, James ‘Tom’ Eichelberger; and 3) Robert ‘Bud’ and Willie B. Turner who donated a portion of their lease on October 8, 1946 for the development of the Negro 4-H Club Youth Park and to make Dean Park's boundaries encompass the pond as it is today.

Dr. Moncrief completed the task of placing the plaques near the three trees and his resignation was accepted. He will surely be missed as he was instrumental in helping to establish partnerships with many other organizations in Winston and surrounding Counties. He was honored for participating with FODP’s partners in helping them to reach their vision, i.e., Winston County Girl Scouts Troop # 20012, Girl Scouts of Canton, MS, Modern Woodmen of America Youth Service Club (MWAYSC), 4 H Club, Community Counseling’s NFusion, NAACP’s Back to School Rally for several years. Also, for helping to supervise landscape assistants train at Eiland Middle School, Fair Elementary , Louisville Elementary Schools, the Cultivating Garden (a County Extension Project), and Focus Manor. He attended classes through the MSU/Winston County Extension Office to become an excellent master gardener. He used that knowledge to teach garden classes to youth and seniors in the community.

FODP presented a plaque to him that reads:

IN GRATITUDE TO DR. RICHARD L. MONCRIEF WHO VOLUNTEERED HIS FAITHFUL SERVICE FOR 11 YEARS TO HELP CARRY OUT THE MISSION AND VISION OF FRIENDS OF DEAN PARK, INC. AND PARTNERS. Also, a garden bench was names in his honor.

Mrs. Patterson stated, “FODP is looking for new members and new members who are interested in leadership. We are seeking at least four people to fill his shoes. Please see me later and let me know if you will be one of the four. Dr. Moncrief, we will miss you terribly. We wish you the best in your new endeavors. Mrs. Moncrief, we thank you so much for being so patient and understanding as he spent many hours doing all of the above at Dean Park and in the community as a FODP dedicated member.”

FODP is a 501(C) 3 nonprofit, charitable organization that can be reached at 510.672-2106.

Submitted by: Elmetra Patterson

 
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L to R: Dr. Willie Goss, Jr., Elmetra Patterson, Dr. Richard Moncrief, Sandra Moncrief

C:\Users\Elmetra\Downloads\Richard and Elmetra placing plaques on trees.jpeg

L to R: Elmetra Patterson and Dr. Richard L. Moncrief