Gerald Oakes age 80 of Tonasket met his Lord and Savior on February 24, 2015 where he passed away peacefully at North Valley Hospital in Tonasket. Gerald was born January 7, 1935 in Tonasket on North Pine Creek along with his identical twin brother, John Oakes. Gerald was born to Bill and Lena Oakes and was raised on the old Oakes Homestead, along with his brother and three sisters and attended Tonasket Schools.
Gerald was very involved in farm life and sports; and was always extremely proud of the fact that his high school basketball team went to the State Playoffs for the first time in school history. After graduating high school he went on to further his education at Eastern Washington College in Cheney, Wash. Gerald married Gwen Holt in 1953 and together they raised four children; Hollie, Bill, Jerry and Valli.
In 1955, he started what went on to be a 34-year career with the Washington State Department of Transportation working out of the Tonasket Shop retiring in 1985. Also, during this time period he owned orchards and operated a Duty Free Store at the U.S./Canadian Border north of Oroville.
Gerald was married to Peg Michels in 1983 and helped raise two step children, Troy and Michelle Michels. After his retirement from the D.O.T., Gerald and Peg started a car sales business at Crumbacher Estates. Together they later moved to North Pine Creek raising some cattle and enjoying the scenery. In 1999 they sold the ranch and moved closer to town on North Pine Creek across from Aeneas Lake.
Gerald was a long time member of the Tonasket Eagles (No. 3002) and was an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman throughout his lifetime. He was an active member of the Tonasket Community Church; serving on the board and other aspects of the church. His children and grandchildren were the love of his life.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents Bill and Lena Oakes, one sister Betty and her husband Ken Clarkson and brother in law Elmer Freeman.
Gerald is survived by his wife Peg Oakes, two sisters Irene Freeman and Leona (Carman) Bliss, twin brother John (Adaline) Oakes, four children Hollie (Mike) Darbyson, Bill Oakes, Jerry (Colleen) Oakes and Valli (Gordon) Schroeter, two step children Troy (Missy) Michels and Michelle Michels, ten grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A Graveside service will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Tonasket Cemetery with a Memorial service at 11 a.m. at the Tonasket Community Church with Pastor Leon Alden, officiating. Following the Memorial Service family and friends are invited to the Tonasket Eagles for a luncheon.
Memorials may be made to Tonasket Community Church or the American Cancer Society.
Bergh Funeral Service Oroville/Tonasket in care of arrangements.