Newsletter of the early Brazilian missions, #179
January 14, 2015
In this issue:
Passing of President George A. Oakes
PASSING OF PRESIDENT GEORGE A. OAKES
I have never known a mission president who was more dearly loved by the missionaries who served under him than George Arthur Oakes, as well as Sister Jeannette Oakes, who presided over the Brazil North Mission 1971-1974. I was saddened to see George lose a battle with cancer and learn of his passing on Sunday, January 11, 2015.
George had served his first mission in the Brazilian Mission (59-61) and Jeannette served her first mission in the Mexico Mission at the same time. They have been a great companionship. Jeannette has maintaining her faith and positive spirit through the challenging time of George’s illness. I wish I knew some of the BNM missionaries’ stories, but I know his missionaries are well organized and loved to meet in reunion with President and Sister Oakes.
I met Elder Oakes when he was serving as Executive Secretary to the Presidency of the Brazil South Area (02-05), some 30 years after his mission presidency. He was playing Seniors golf with my brother Ronald of Guarujá, SP, and they were a team competing on Brazilian courses. I enjoyed walking a round or two with them (as assistant caddy). The brethren of the Area Presidency had given George a golf hat with the word “ELDER” embroidered on the front of it in large letters . . . to remind him of his mission duties. I just enjoyed the man. I saw him again when he and Sister Oakes were presiding over the Campinas Temple, again with great love (2010-2013), and setting one more fine example for their missionaries.
Thanks for the notice of Pres. George Oakes. He and I were really good friends. He and I worked together in the North Mission when Pat and I were in Brazil. He helped me establish the seminary and institute program in his mission. We not only laughed a lot (and I mean a LOT) but we worked hard and accomplished a lot. I won't take time, but on one occasion while traveling in his car in Rio the Lord literally interceded to save our lives on the freeway. We always spoke of the Lord's mercy to us. I will miss him so much. David A. Christensen (email@example.com)
(Brother Christensen (BM 56-59) presided over the division of the SP North and South missions in 1972 and later presided over the Utah SLC Mission, 95-98.)
While living in Rio my wife and I welcomed Pres. and Sister Oakes into the Brazil North Mission. Then later I served as one of his councilors. They were loved by their missionaries as well as the members. He didn't hesitate give Bro. Walmir Silva and I responsibilties of working with the branches and districts in the Mission. Bro. Walmir and I were sent to Recife to divide the Branch. That was over 40 years ago. Now there is a Mission and a Temple and many Stakes. Val Carter
Dear Brother Gunn, I appreciate receiving the sad news of Bother Oakes. He worked for me when I was a supervisor at the LA Temple. Then, when they dedicated the Campinas Temple they invited me to come since I had been the District President of the Campinas District. My son who had also served in Brazil and I made the trip. I had barely arrived and was greeted by Brother and Sister Oakes. They transported us around and introduced us to Elder Anderson with whom he worked. We had a delightful breakfast with both of them. Thanks for all you do for Brazilian Missionaries. Weldon B. Jolley
George was a traveling supervising Elder when I was serving in Aracatuba in 1961. We hit it off and when I was at the LDS Temple in Sept 1963 to be married I saw him in the parking lot and he attended my wedding. My fond memories of a great man.
I absolutely loved President Oakes! I grew up in his ward and was friends with his family. Later he was my stake president and so instrumental in getting me on my mission. It truly changed my life. What a great man. I'm sure he is doing great work on the other side now. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Sending my love
Amanda Facer Olsen, Orem, UT
I served as a missionary in the Brazil North Mission. President Oakes was my mission president. He was a great man and mentor. We would often play futebol at zone meetings. He would play the goalie. It was a lot of fun!! I hope to see him again. Ronald Heaston, Sparks, NV
I was sorry to read of George's death. I was not aware that you folks lived in Utah now. I remember George as a friendly, kind and generous man. I'm sorry for your loss and I wish you and your family well. Sincerely, Glenda Weight Peterson
I wish to send my condolences to Sister Oakes. I was one of your missionaries in the last quarter of my mission working in the northeast. We loved you. Enjoyed listening to President Oakes at conferences when he spoke of slogging through the mud and rain while serving. Your memory will always be in my heart. Greg LeCheminant, Queen Creek, AZ
I loved President Oakes. He was a mentor and dear friend. I visited with him and Sister Oakes at the hospital a while back and talked about the years I served under him as my mission President. He was truly a sincere and great man. I will miss him.
It's with the deepest of sadness to say goodbye to George. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. All our best wishes, Alan and Mindy Collier
I served with Elder Oakes in the Brazilian Mission. I was a relative "greenie" and worked with him in Santo Amaro Branch in Sao Paulo. He was my senior companion and were were assigned to be Traveling Elders. His spirit and devotion were marvelous examples, and I carried his influence with me for the remainder of my mission, and throughout life. He was also a lot of fun !!! Thanks, Elder Oakes. Lawrence Mauerman
Our beloved Mission President. The world is a better place for his having been here. And it will never be the same without him. God be with the Oakes' Family. Marsha Foster Jay, Ogden, UT
I remember him as the mission president in the Brazil North Mission. My family was living in Rio de Janeiro at the time and he and my father (Walmir Silva) became very good friends and remained friends for all these years. I talked to my father a couple of days ago and he informed me of President Oakes passing and he was very sad. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Elizabeth Silva Hales
George was my seminary teacher for a year in Glendale. What a fun and great influence he was in my life as a young teenager....he helped form my testimony of the gospel. I will forever be grateful! Mark Dietlein
The Spirit World has gained a great and Christlike man. He is undoubtedly already doing missionary work once again! George was a Father and PaPa to so many, and we were always blessed when we received advice from him. He was so very insightful and wise! We will miss George, but are excited for the new callings and adventures that lie ahead for him! Until we meet again. Kimberly Bullard, Farmington, UT
Dear Jeannette and Family,
Please know that our love and prayers are with you while we are serving here in Honduras. You were so wonderful and kind to us when we were in Brazil. Both of you are true examples to us of faith, hope, charity and service. We have learned much about Christlike love from both of you. We love you and you will be in our prayers daily. Love, Jamie and Annette Dester
Zuleika, Larissa and Paulo Grahl send our condolences, our sincere love, and a big "abraço" to our dear friend Jeannette. We are saddened by the passing of George, a giant of faith, and a man with a very tender heart whom we have had the blessing of knowing, and with whom we have shared many choice and sacred moments. Many saints in Brazil will be forever grateful for the devoted service of this exemplar disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ in our country. We say farewell to George, until we meet again. - Paulo, Larissa and Zuleika Grahl - São Paulo, Brazil
Great man and well done thou great and faithful servant! May the Lord's comfort be upon you all. With sincere condolences to dear sister Oakes and all the family! Margaret Graham, Riverside, CA
I had the privilege of serving with George in Santo Amaro. We had great times together. Thinking of him brings back memories I have not thought about in years. The last time I saw him was at Pres. Bangerter's 92 birthday party in Alpine. In fact I had not seen him since Brazil until the birthday party. I served from 1960-1963. I am sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family. Mac M. Bills - Mapleton, UT 84664
Dear brother George Oakes, thanks for really having genuine love for God, for the true gospel, and for mankind! You have been transferred to the spiritual ward still young because there is a need in that sphere of great ones like you are! The Lord will watch over your precious family still here, I have no doubt of it! Thanks for being such a good example to us all! _Sandra Teixeira Clark - Phoenix, AZ
Brother George Oaks, thanks for everything you did and was while here on earth! Sandra Clark, Phoenix, AZ
Ate novamente encontrarmos ....com alegria eterna ...Oh que belos hinos cantam hoje la nos Ceus .... todo o nosso amor para voce Jeannette e familia; J.Roberto e Lucia Viveiros
President Oakes presided the Brazil North Mission (now Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission) between 1970 and 1973. One of the significant accomplishments in his administration was the creation of the first stake in Rio de Janeiro (1972).
Because of old misconceptions regarding the priesthood ban, in 1972 President Oakes had to personally approve the baptisms of Helvecio & Ruda Martins, and their son Marcus Helvecio. A lifelong friendship began between the two families. Fifteen years later brother Helvecio Martins would serve as a mission president in Fortaleza, Brazil, and three years later as the first member with Black African ancestry in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Brother Marcus Martins also served as a mission president, around the same time in which President Oakes was presiding the Campinas Brazil Temple. They participated in a few stake conferences together. M. Martins, Laie, HI
So sorry to the Oakes family. Pres. Oakes was a wonderful man, and so loving and giving. Paul Herod & family
Thinking of you Jeanette and sending our love. Brian and Suzie Kelley
I served under George Oakes as a missionary and will be forever grateful for his supreme example of love and compassion. He was truly a great man, who demonstrated never ending faith and optimism. He will be sorely missed by many. John Andelin, Williston, ND
Denny and family, We're so sad to hear of George's passing. We have fond memories of the times we shared. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Love, Jim and Amalia Thompson, Albuquerque, NM
George and Denny Oaks. George was my Bishop and Denny was my Seminary teacher, both Disciples of Christ and fearless leaders of the Highland Park Ward in Los Angeles. Brother Oaks ordained me with the Priesthood when I was 12 years old. Sister Oakes picked us up for semminary meeting in a cool mustang. Both were great leaders and examples to me in my life. They were loved by everyone who ever knew them which now must number in the thousands. Bishop Oakes had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. I am honored to have known him. Roger Martin HP LA - Mendocino, CA
Love love him, thinking of you and your family sister Oakes! Simone Dittrich Bannister, Riverside, CA
George was also a Mission President in the Sao Paulo Brazil, the same mission he served in in his youth. Sharon Anderson, Cameron Park, CA
Our hearts are saddened by your passing George but we have the sure knowledge we will meet again and in the meantime we have plenty of memories of the years of friendship we have shared. To Jeannette, Jeff, Scott, Grant and Debra we send our love and prayers. May Father grant you the comfort and extra love you need at this time. We love you all and your families so much. Love, Jim and Sharon Anderson - Cameron Park, CA
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 12 Noon, with a viewing from 9:30am to 11:30am, same day, at the North Salt Lake Stake Center located at 900 Eaglepointe Drive. North Salt Lake, Utah 84054.
Alf Gunn of Gig Harbor, WA - USA* 253-851-1099 * firstname.lastname@example.org * BSM 62-65