Larry Gayle Oakes

May 23, 1947April 11, 2019
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Larry Gayle Oakes, 71, of Fort Smith, died Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Fort Smith. He was born May 23, 1947 in Waldron, AR to Leroy Harold and Rose Marie Nance Oakes. He was a former employee of Shipley Baking Company and served as a nurse at Covington Court for 18 years. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Smith and was a Stephen Minister. He taught second grade Sunday School, served as a driver for Wonderful Wednesday, and was active in the Sack Lunch Program. He was a member of the Fort Smith Jaycees, and was a 4-H Leader at Bonneville Elementary School. He volunteered as a basketball coach for the Fort Smith Girls Club and coached the Andrews Field Strikers, girls softball team, and served as a mentor for the Fort Smith Public School System at Trusty Elementary.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Gail Oakes of the home; three daughters, Emily Oakes (Eddie Cole) of Fort Smith, Erin Bouxsein (Jacob) of Scott AFB, IL, and Erika Ragar (Tony) of Fayetteville, AR; mother in law, Myra Ward of Fort Smith; brother in law, Frank and wife Rudda Ward of Fort Smith; one niece, and two nephews; and his grandchildren, the greatest joys of his life, Lily Ann Bouxsein, Cash Bouxsein, and James Ragar. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rose Marie and Harold Oakes.

Memorial service will be Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM in the First United Methodist Church. Private family committal prior to the service in the Columbarium of First United Methodist Church.

Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Stephen Ministry of First United Methodist Church

The family will greet friends in the chapel of Edwards Funeral Home on Monday evening from 5-7 PM

In Lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church; Fort Smith Girls Shelter; or Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation, 5204 Village Parkway, Suite 11, PMB113 Rogers, Arkansas 72758.

To sign an online guestbook visit


  • Stephen Ministry of First United Methodist Church, Honorary

  • First United Methodist Church
  • Fort Smith Girls Shelter
  • Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation


  • Visitation Monday, April 15, 2019
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Larry Gayle Oakes

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Susan Oakes Lauderdale

April 13, 2019

Larry was my cousin and because I was a girl and several years younger, I never spent any time with him growing up. He was always with my older brother, Jimmy, and our cousin, Sam. Those three were so ornery and ran all around our Papaw’s farm. They probably still have secrets none of us know. As an adult though, I got to know Larry and saw the most gentle, precious man who was such a loving son, husband, and father. He adored Gail and his girls. Our hearts go out to you all and we continue to pray for you.