Keith's Story

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Our beloved Father, Keith Edward Oakley, left us to join our Mother in Heaven on Monday, January 11, 2016. Keith was born to Edward “Ted” and Bertha (Richter) Oakley on September 27, 1923 in their home on a farm outside of Helena, OK. He graduated from Jet High School in 1942. After a semester at Tonkawa, Keith joined the Marines in 1943 and served as a heavy equipment operator building runways big enough to land B-29 airplanes all across the South Pacific including Guam, Tinian, Cebu and Okinawa, ending up in China. After returning from WWII, Keith had custom combining equipment, hired his Cherokee buddies and his brother-in-law, Deane Wymer, and off they went, combining their way to Nebraska. Keith married Earlene Jo “Sally” Wymer of Longdale on August 14, 1948 at Cherokee, OK. They made their home and farmed southeast of Cherokee. Along with farming, Keith taught at the Helena School for Boys, primarily teaching laundry skills. Keith and Sally had three daughters, Keith Ann, Kay Dene and Kelly Jo. The family moved to Woodward in 1957 when Keith took a service position with Zenith Gas. Zenith was later purchased by Oklahoma Natural Gas from which Keith retired in 1986. After retirement, he continued to work as a custodian for a church in Woodward. Then he went on to work as a crop adjuster traveling many miles throughout western Oklahoma. In 1993, Keith and Sally bought part of her family's farm located northeast of Longdale, some of which had been homesteaded by her great and great-great grandmothers in 1893. They moved their house from Woodward to this property, where Keith raised cattle and continued to live until 2013 when he moved to the Fairview Fellowship Apartments. Keith was an active member of the Longdale Gym Community Association, which was formed to convert the Longdale School Gymnasium into a community center. It is a very active center, bringing many events to the community, including the annual July 4th parade and the many famous chicken-noodle dinners. Keith belonged to the Longdale Community Church which he actively attended until about two years ago when he was no longer able to drive. He was also a member of the Woodward and Fairview American Legion Posts. Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Bertha Oakley; his wife, Sally; one sister, Erma Allison; two brothers, Cloyce and Lawrence Oakley; a nephew, Lyndon Oakley; a niece, Maryann Oakley; He is survived by his three daughters, Keith Ann Schaffner and husband Pip who live at the family ranch, Kay Dene Tamayo and husband Tony of Harlingen, TX and Kelly Jo Rickman and husband Rick of Tulsa, OK; two grandsons, Ted Tamayo and Ben Rickman; great-grandson Sawyer Tamayo; step-great-grandson, Will Schaffner; two nieces, Marilyn Little of Yukon, OK and Colleen Harris of Enid, OK; one nephew, Ron Allison of Cherokee, OK; and many great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly. Keith was passionate about two things, his family and his cattle, often just sitting in his pickup for hours watching his cattle. He didn't return one evening after checking on his cattle on a Buck pasture in Avard. Finally around 5:00 the next morning, Sally called Keith's nephew Ron Allison to go check on Keith. Ron, fearing he might find Keith dead, called Chris Buck to accompany him. They found Keith sitting in his pickup asleep. Needless to say, Sally gave him fits when he got home. The family wishes to express special thanks to the staff at the Fairview Fellowship Home and Faith Hospice, all who professionally and lovingly cared for Keith. Visitation with the family will be from 5 – 7 p.m., Thursday at Pierce Funeral Home, 721 S. Main, Fairview. The funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Longdale Community Church with Pastor Ray Schoonmaker and Pastor Kyle Harris officiating. Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery, located on the family ranch. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Longdale Gym Community Association, Faith Hospice or the Longdale Community Church through the funeral home at P.O. Box 15, Fairview, OK 73737. Condolences may be made online at www.haiglerpierce.com.
Published on  January 19, 2016
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