The Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation
Preserving African American History of Suffolk, Virginia with Integrity
Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery has been approved for state funding, specifically to repair and maintain 468 registered gravemarkers. The amount will be $5.00 per headstone. Nadia K. Orton, Secretary and Historian for the foundation, who has researched Oak Lawn Cemetery for eight years, carefully researched hundreds of obituaries and death certificates, cross-checked with available gravestone photos, to create the database of eligible graves (persons born before 1900). Working closely in conjunction, and with the invaluable assistance of the office of Del. C. E. Cliff Hayes for several months, she was able to submit all required documentation to ensure that Oak Lawn became one of the select few African American cemeteries to receive funding from the State of Virginia.
From the board of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation (President Reginald H. Dirtion, Vice-President Oulaniece Saunders, Treasurer Wilbur Holland, Jr., Secretary/Historian Nadia K. Orton) : Special thanks to: the African American community of Suffolk, Virginia; Suffolk Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 5, LeOtis Williams, Frances McNair, Mike Lane, M/M Hinton (Eye Catch Photos), Otis Richards, First Baptist Church Mahan (FBC), Dr. Harry Quinton and Lt. Col. Bill Burrell (Tidewater Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.), and the staff of the East Suffolk Recreation Center. Also, Del. Hayes, Jr. (Dist. 77), Vice-Mayor L. Bennett, and Councilman C. Milteer,
Dedicated to the memory of Deacon George Lee Richards, Sr.