Remembering Dewey Alley

Rick Beech | October 20, 2023

VP of Faith Relations and Habitat Wake founder Rick Beech remembers Dewey Alley, former Habitat Wake board chair, who passed away on Oct. 7. 

We have lost two Habitat giants in the past year. Both were major factors in helping Habitat Wake become what it is today. We stand on their powerful legacy.

Dorothy Smith was one of our early homebuyers who gave back to the organization by passionately telling her story countless times over the early years. Drawing scores of people to us and inspiring them to passionately serve our mission. Dewey Alley, our third board chair, totally changed our trajectory.

Dewey brought his immense connections, his boundless energy, and his relentless pursuit for success to our fledgling organization. He willed and compelled us to become all that we could be. We became one of the top five largest Habitat affiliates in the country during his tenure, where we remain today.

Dewey Alley with funders
Dewey Alley (center) with Habitat Wake donors Tommy Fonville and Courtney Mauzy. 

Dewey brought the area’s business leaders to serve beside him. No one worked harder than Dewey and they were inspired to roll up their sleeves and follow. We had real estate giants lead our site selection committee, large builders leading our building committee, statewide figures leading our public relations committee, fundraising giants leading our fundraising committee, and top tier accountants and CEO’s s serving on our finance committee. It truly was magic.

Dewey was co-owner of Carolina Components, which donated pre-built walls for countless Habitat Wake homes, and  encouraged other building suppliers to follow in their generosity. His access to building supply companies gave him a truly pioneering idea. What if we regularly gathered miscellaneous building supplies from the building industry and sold them to the public?  That we did, it became Habitat Wake’s first ReStore, one of the first Habitat ReStores in the country. Other Habitat affiliates took notice. Thanks to Dewey, ReStores are now the norm for Habitat affiliates across the country, providing significant funding to fuel the Habitat movement over the years. With such a powerful beginning, it is no wonder that Habitat Wake’s ReStores are the most profitable in the country.

Dewey Alley accepting an award from Gov. Martin in 1988
Dewey Alley accepting an award from Gov. Martin in 1988


Dewey was a man of faith, leading his church to become a regular house sponsor in the early years. As recently as the past decade, he provided challenge grants to re-engage his church in building Habitat homes.

Dewey was a man of very humble beginnings. He knew poverty and poverty housing firsthand, and it fueled him to work relentlessly to help as many families as possible to get good housing.

Thank you, Dewey, for your unbelievable passion, tireless efforts, and amazing generosity to help so many people to obtain good affordable housing. We live in a better community and a better world because of you.

Dewey and Rick at the NC Housing Awards in 1989
Dewey Alley (second from left) and Rick Beech (far left) accepting an award on behalf of Habitat Wake at the Housing North Carolina Awards in 1989.


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Rick Beech

VP, Faith Relations

Rick Beech founded Habitat Wake in 1985 as a seminary intern and returned in 2012 to direct Habitat Wake’s faith relations department. In the interim, Rick worked at Habitat International as a regional director and the director of their Faith Relations department. Rick is an ordained minister and has also served as an executive pastor and missions pastor. In addition to his work at Habitat Wake, he has served on the boards of Zoe Empowers and the UNC Wesley Foundation. Rick holds a BA in sociology from Mars Hill University and a Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Seminary.