Family and friends reflect on the legacy of longtime African American Museum curator

Sadberry had been a curator with the museum since it opened in 2006
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:02 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Oliver Wayne Sadberry Jr,” the Brazos Valley African American Museum curator since 2006, passed away Tuesday.

Family and friends are remembering the Bryan native and historian as a social advocate and faithful community servant.

Many will remember Sadberry as the smiling face greeting visitors at the Brazos Valley African American Museum, but for those closest to him, he was a talented jazz saxophonist, scholar, airforce veteran, hero, and family man.

“I often refer to him as a giant for justice. He was always working to make life better for people who are in marginalized groups,” said Tony Neal, Sadberry’s nephew.

Sadberry dedicated his life to serving others. He worked with groups near and far, helping to preserve history. Upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 1971, Sadberry was Assistant Executive Director for Human Services at Brazos Valley Development Council and Area Agency on Aging. He also worked with national organizations, including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the City of Bryan’s Carnegie History Center, and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum.

“He worked for fair housing, and for employment and for education, and for adequate healthcare,” said Neal. “He is definitely going to be missed in this community.”

Family and friends say his impact and legacy will live on for generations to come. “His legacy will live on, and I will continue that legacy in terms of making sure that the work he has left unfinished will become finished one day,” said Neal. " We have certainly a long way to go.”

“Any facts you wanted to know about anything dealing with African American history or history of the Brazos Valley, you could just ask Wayne,” said Bryan resident and friend Helen Washington. “He could just almost pop it off the top of his head, so he was a great service to our community.”

Community leaders are remembering Sadberry for his dedication to the community.

“He brought a wealth of knowledge of history to the city, to the museum, to the Brazos Valley,” said Bryan Councilman Prentiss Madison. “His family is well known throughout the community, and it’s just a sad moment to lose Mr. Sadberry.”

“Wayne is missed and will be missed by all of the community,” said Brazos County Pct. 4 Commissioner Irma Cauley. “Wayne was fondly known as a ‘Walking Encyclopedia ' on the history of BRAZOS COUNTY. Wayne was also well known as a great musician. The Sadberry family members are very well regarded in the Brazos Valley.”

Funeral Services for Oliver Wayne Sadberry, Jr., will be held Monday, January 17, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. in the chapel of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Center.

Obituary/Condolences can be expressed on the funeral home’s website.

Mr. Sadberry was one of the first people I met when I came to Bryan/College Station. Every time we spoke, he had...

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