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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Margaret Oakley

Friday, October 14, 2011

(Photo)
Margaret Oakley
Margaret Mary Smith Oakley, 82, died on May 27, her birthday, in Berkeley, Calif., after a short bout of pneumonia.

Margaret was a native of Glennonville, Mo., and considered it home even after many years of living away. She lived in many places, but put down roots in Reno, Nev., for 43 years before moving to both Davis and Emeryville, Calif., to be near her children.

And so it goes, Mom, so it goes. Margaret was fond of that saying, coined by one of her favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, a phrase that for Mom seemed like an existentialist way of dealing with the tragedies, both big and small, that one must face in life. So it goes. Mom was raised Catholic and when talking about death she often mentioned that she was looking forward to reuniting with her mother, father, husband of 43 years, Gene Oakley, son-in-law, Dave Gibbs and 10 brothers and sisters who preceded her in death.

Margaret had a great sense of humor. She climbed trees. She put baby dolls in bird cages. She joked about the grim reaper. Recently, she was heard to say: "DDD. Do you know what that stands for?" "No, Mom, what?" "Definitely done dancing, that's what I'll be when I succumb."

Mom loved her three kids, Jeanne, Bessie and Doug Oakley. And although she had to wait a while to get them, she finally got four grandchildren whom she loved with abandon and who loved her back in turn. Kyler, 7 Ila, 5 Jackson, 5 and Bodie, 3 already miss her.

Margaret was born on May 27, 1929 to Elmer George Smith and Anna Mary Fuemmeler and grew up on a farm in Glennonville, the second youngest of 12 brothers and sisters. She met her husband, Gene Oakley, while working as a waitress in Poplar Bluff, Mo., in 1961.

Margaret attended the University of Missouri, Columbia and the University of Nevada, Reno where she studied and received a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. She worked as a community health nurse for the Washoe County Health Department from 1971 to 1989 and helped start one of the nation's first after school programs for kids. She penned a short autobiography of her early years, "Growing up in Glennonville." She was an artist and writer and her creativity inspired many. She loved thrift stores, traveling, cheese and wine and was always up for a dance. She followed politics closely and read avidly. She charmed those around her with her warm smile, effervescent laughter and kind heart. And she will be greatly missed.

She is survived her little brother, Leonard Smith, of Swannanoa, N.C.; her children, Jeanne, Elizabeth "Bessie" and Doug Oakley; her daughter-in-law, Susan Campbell; son-in-law, Joel Bremson and her four grandchildren. She is also survived by nieces, Arnida Altman and Alma Teder, of Glennonville; Larry, Nancy, Ross, and Marc Oakley and Araitz Zeberio; numerous nieces and nephews; several cousins and longtime loving neighbors and friends.

Funeral services and burial will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, at St. Teresa's Church in Glennonville.