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Denny Lee Oakes

July 22, 1939 ~ August 25, 2019 (age 80)

Denny Oakes, 80, loving husband, father and grandfather passed in peace on August 25, 2019.  His passing completes his decade long battle with Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s.  While the family is truly saddened by Denny’s passing, they are also consoled by the thought that Denny is no longer suffering and is now free from the shackles of the disease that robbed him of the opportunity to be his true self.

Denny was born in Knoxville, IA on July 22, 1939.  Denny grew up in and graduated from high school in Columbus Junction, IA.   He worked in his parents’ movie theater, Roundy’s grocery store, and survived his favorite double dare to ride his bike across the swinging bridge.  After graduation Denny married Linda (the true love of his life) in 1959 and moved to Des Moines where he worked for Eastman Kodak, Philips Petroleum and Still Hospital.  In 1967, Denny moved to Fairfield to work for Walker’s Office Supplies. In 1973 Walker’s expanded to Mt. Pleasant, where Denny was co-owner and manager until the store closed in 2013, due to complications of Denny’s illness.

While in Fairfield, Denny was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he was an active member in Methodist Men for many years.  Denny was also a member of the Optimist Club and enjoyed working very hard at the Old Thresher‘s Reunion. He served many adult leader roles for Troop 64 Boy Scouts of America while his sons were active scouts. 

Denny was a loving father and doting grandfather who coined his favorite names for his seven grandsons – Tyrone P Honeyhugger, Silly Billie Beanhouse and would calm a ruckus with a simple “That’s enough from the peanut gallery.”  He loved his truck and the outdoors being an avid fisherman/hunter with his father-in-law Harold and a metal detector/treasure hunter with his sons and grandsons.  He was also a swap meet enthusiast where he loved selling and trading old car parts with his close friends Fred, Dee and Bobby.  Denny’s favorite drink was Diet Coke and was an impassioned collector of Coca Cola memorabilia.

Denny was known for his quick wit and light hearted sense of humor, which quickly endeared him to family, friends and strangers alike.  He was notorious for having a one-liner ready for almost any situation: How is it going Denny? “Steady by jerks”; Will you be available tomorrow morning? “I will be there bright eyed and bushy tailed”; Are you okay? “Yeah, I am tougher than a boiled owl”.

Denny is survived by his wife of 60 years Linda Oakes, his children: Tim (Shelia) Oakes of Cary, NC;  Tammy (Larry) Nichols of Hannibal, Mo; Todd (Bridgit) Oakes of Waukee, IA; his seven grandchildren: Carter Oakes & Kevin Oakes; Colton Nichols & Mitchell Nichols; Calvin Oakes, Carson Oakes & Spencer Oakes.  His extended family; Bill and Linda Gerdes, Patti and Jerry Mitchell and cousin Bob (Marilyn) Miller.  Denny was preceded in death by his mother Geraldine (Oakes) Conrad and step father’s Don Oakes and Dewey Conrad. 

The family would like to thank the dedicated staff at Sunrise Terrace Nursing and Rehab (Winfield, IA) for providing such compassionate and outstanding care for Denny.

The family will greet friends from 9:30AM to 11:00AM on Saturday August 31, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church in Fairfield, followed by a celebration of life service at 11:00AM.  Following a luncheon at the church, burial will be at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington, IA

In-lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Denny’s honor.  Cards and memorials can be sent to Linda Oakes, 400 E Buchanan Ave., Fairfield, IA 52556.  Please share your thoughts and favorite memories of Denny at

Denny brought us joy, made us laugh and gave us all the lasting gift of countless loving memories to keep us smiling forever.  He spent endless hours polishing chrome car parts, he is now polishing our stars. 


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