BENKELMAN -- Robert Wayne Oakley, 75, died Monday (Jan. 27, 2003) at Community Hospital in McCook.
He was born March 24, 1927, at Denver, Colo., to Oscar Otto and Bertha (Phillips) Oakley. He moved with his family to a farm west of St. Francis at an early age, and attended country school near his home. He later moved with his family to Benkelman where he attended Benkelman High School.
He served in the U.S. Army for eight years during World War II.
On March 14, 1953, he married Gertrude Johanna Bitterlich in Vienna, Austria. After returning home, he worked for Oakley Brothers Junk Yard and resided in Benkelman. They later moved to Ogallala. He moved his family to Wichita, Kan., for several years, and later to Denver, Colo., where he was employed by the City of Denver at the museum, and later at the schools in Northglenn, Colo. After his retirement, they moved to their acreage near Westcliffe, Colo. In 1992, he returned to Benkelman where he resided at the Rainbow Fountain Park. In 1998, due to failing health, he moved to El Dorado Manor in Trenton.
He was a member of the Lutheran Church, the American Legion, and past member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at their lodge in Ogallala.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Bertha Oakley.
Survivors include his stepdaughter, Vera; step-mother, Helen Oakley of Benkelman; sister, Marlene and husband, Eldon Cawthra also of Benkelman; and two grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Friday, 1:30 p.m. (MST), at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman. Interment with military honors will follow services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
Visitation is today until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be given in his name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.