‘The Voice of Oberlin’ remembered
City to dedicate pavilion to Abram
Oberlin will memorialize one of the city’s most well-known citizens by dedicating in his honor a pavilion at the Underground Railroad Center.
George Abram, who died March 18 after a brief illness, was known as “The Voice of Oberlin” for his 39 years announcing sports games for Oberlin High School and Oberlin College.
In that capacity, Abram left an indelible mark on the city he called home for nearly 56 years.
His deep resonant voice, which he used to great effect when the Oberlin team scored, became a hallmark in the community that got him recognized by adults and children alike, even when he was just out shopping at Midway Mall in Elyria, he told The Morning Journal in 2017.
“One kid looked up at his mom and says, ‘Mom, there goes that two man,’” Abram said with a laugh. “Little things like that. I stopped, shook hands and talked to them awhile, and I still don’t
know who they were, but they knew me.”
A resolution calls for an “appropriate memorial” to be designed and placed on the site, 237 S. Main St., was unanimously passed by Oberlin City Council on Oct. 1.
Oberlin City Manager Rob Hillard said construction
is beginning at the site soon, and the city is hoping for it to be completed by the end of this construction season with a dedication in December.
Councilman Ronnie Rimbert said that he and Abram, whom he called “a prince of a man” in the Oct. 1 meeting, had known each other for many years.
During that time, their relationship took many different forms, Rimbert said.
“When I first met him,
he was Mr. Abram,” Rimbert said.
“Then from Mr. Abram, he went to coach, then from coach, he went to George and then from there, to my friend.”
Rimbert said Abram was very instrumental in keeping the Underground Railroad Center project going.
“In any project, you’ve always got to have a point person, and he took on that responsibility,” he said.
“(Abram) was the guy who was taking heat on certain occasions which he dealt with.
“Whoever the point person is, there may be some glory at the end, but there’s a hell of a lot of heat at the beginning, and in the middle, and George was willing to put that on his shoulders.”
At the meeting, several community members spoke about how grateful Abram would be for the honor.
In 2017, Abram told The Journal he was grateful when Oberlin High School was planning a tribute basketball game to him.
“I think of it as wanting to do this, because I like to do this,” he said. “If nobody ever said ‘thank you,’ it wouldn’t matter; that’s what I wanted to do.
“If they want to say thank you like the tribute, then wow man, they thought that much of me to do that.”
Construction has begun on the Oberlin Underground Railroad Center, 237 S. Main Street, which will be dedicated to George “The Voice” Abram.