Leslie Carlton Oakes
July 16, 1934 – May 2, 2021
Leslie “Les” Oakes, 86, passed away on May 2, 2021, at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He was a loving husband, caring father, fun-loving grandfather, Army veteran, and true dog lover. In recent years, his battle with medical issues showed his strength, optimism, and courage, as he faced life’s challenges with faith, a huge smile, and an infectious, boisterous laugh. He is fondly remembered by his “lovely” wife of 64 years, Dale; his “exciting offspring”: Kevin (Kari) Oakes, Todd (Cheryl) Oakes, and Lesley Oakes Ermalinski. He loved being a Grandfather to Kyle, Kirsten, Katelyn, Ryan, and Jason Oakes, and Rachel and Jessica Ermalinski. He is also missed by his furry companion Reba. Les was predeceased by his younger brother Donald, and numerous beloved canines. He was born to Carlton and Mabel “Bobbie” Oakes on July 16, 1934, in Brooklyn, NY. In 1956, he married his high-school sweetheart Dale, the “one that made me what I am.” They had a loving, busy, adventurous, and exciting 64 years together! He majored in Journalism at Syracuse University. His love of conversation, journalism, editing, and vocabulary was a constant throughout his life. His children were often cautious when asking him to review school assignments, as they would be returned with vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures far beyond their grade level. Upon graduation, he earned a commission in the U.S. Army. He served in the Army for 22 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. He said it was a “good career, an exciting one, and I am thankful for my choice of a grown-up’s way to contribute to our way of life.” Les served in both the Infantry and Ordinance Corps and was awarded his Airborne wings and the Legion of Merit award while serving his country. He served all over the United States, at the Pentagon, in Germany, in Korea, and is a Veteran of the Vietnam War. Following his military retirement, he embarked on a second career as a defense contractor. He worked at JAYCOR, supporting the military’s acquisition efforts. He made many lifelong friends and memories during his time at JAYCOR. Later, he volunteered at INOVA Mt. Vernon hospital. He loved his time at the hospital conversing with patients and staff, and he often brought his trained therapy dog to visit patients. Les was a lover of dogs. He loved his time with his furry best friends and always had a treat in his pocket for dogs he encountered during his day. Les was a wonderful husband, father of humans and canines, and grandfather. He was a strong, vibrant, and emotional man. He had a heart of gold and time for anyone. All who were lucky enough to have him in their lives were blessed. What would make him happiest today is for you to go have a cup of coffee, or a drink, with a friend or loved one, and share a laugh and memory of a time with him. Everyone has a story about Les and we would love to hear them all. To share a memory of Les, or to send a condolence to his family, please visit: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/alexandria-va/leslie-oakes-10177820. To honor his memory, donations may be sent to support Alzheimer’s Research. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday May 20th, at Demaine Funeral home in Alexandria, VA. There are mandated limits on attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions (masks and vaccinations are also required.) His final resting place will be at The Arlington National Cemetery.