William D. “Bill” Oaks age 85 died at home, of cancer, on May 23rd in Watkins Glen, NY. Born in Geneva, NY to Carlton V. and Della (Newton) Oaks in 1925 he grew up in Oaks Corners, NY and graduated from Phelps High School, enlisting in the Army Air Force in 1943. In 1947 he began working for the National Cash Register Co. based in Dayton, Ohio and over the course of a 40 year career rose from Technician to Branch Manager at locations ranging from Geneva, NY to Waterbury, CT, Syracuse, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. Retiring in 1987 he could finally focus his attention on his long-time passion: sailing.
Those in his Watkins Glen neighborhood will remember Bill as the guy who would help out with whatever needed to be done, be it snow blowing the driveway and walks for a neighbor, repairing the chairs at the nearby library, or repairing damaged sails in his custom made attic shop. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. But perhaps most of all he will be remembered as a sailor. In retirement he was able to return to his beloved Seneca Lake where he had spent his summers as a youth. The number of friends and family who have enjoyed a sail on Seneca Lake with Bill, whether it be a day sail or, better yet, a night sail could populate a small town. Sail on, good friend.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Carol Joan (Bagley) Oaks and his sister Carol (Oaks) Wilson and her husband Lee of Phelps, NY. His sons Douglass and his wife Darienne of Shelburne, VT, Mark and his wife Carolyn of Fabius, NY, Jonathan and his wife Penny of Marietta, NY, his daughter-in-law Lisa (Drum) Oaks, and his daughter Ellen (Oaks)Peterson and her husband Edward of Horseheads, NY. Grandchildren Linsley Oaks, William R. Oaks, Sara Oaks, Katherine (Oaks) Shaw and her husband Patrick, Abigail Oaks, Allyson Oaks, Perry Peterson, and Nathaniel O. Peterson. Great grandchildren
Harper Shaw and Lennon Shaw. He was predeceased by his son Michael “Tod” Oaks, his sister Mary (Oaks ) Timerson, and her husband Don Timerson. A memorial service will be held at the Village Marina, Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen, NY, June 4th at 10:00am. Committal at Lakeview Cemetery following. Donations may be made in his name to the Humane Society of Schuyler County (607) 594-2255 (www.SchuylerHumane.org). You may express condolences to the family online in “Obituaries” at www.Royce-Chedzoy.com. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.