Sheila Katherine Crowley Oakes of East Hampton, CT., widow of Russel Fred Oakes, Sr. went to her heavenly reward on Friday December 18, 2020, peacefully at home in her own bed. Sheila was born in Hartford, Ct, daughter of Patrick and Katherine Crowley. She attended St. Augustine School and graduated from Buckley High School.
Sheila was very active in the East Hampton community. She was past president of the St. Patrick’s Church Guild and past president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Ladies Auxiliary. Her church provided much comfort and strength, She was eucharist minister for over 30 years at St. Patrick and 5 years at Our Lady of Light, Ft. Myers, Fl. She volunteered many hours at the church including helping to organize the tag sale and running the coffee table at the fish fry.
Sheila and her husband Russ spent over 10 years leading the East Hampton 3rd Ct. Regiment of Fifes and Drums. They traveled throughout New England attending musters, marching in parades and embarrassing their children.
Sheila was a charter member of the Old Home Day Committee and served for over 30 years. She was two term Old Home Day president. Her most impressive accomplishment was as the founder and race director of the “best road race in all the land” for 20 years, The Glorious Gallop 5k Road race. Old Home Day, or as we liked to call it “Oakes Christmas” was the highlight of her year.
Sheila was an avid runner throughout her life and completed five ½ marathons, the New York City Marathon and the Ocean State Marathon in 1996 at the age of 60. She has passed on her love of running to her children. Besides running, Sheila loved to golf with her sons and usually beat them.
Sheila was an avid quilter, making personalized quilts for her children and grandchildren. A life long learner, she learned stain glass making, playing the guitar, needle point, crocheting and knitting. Sheila loved words. She always had a crossword puzzle folded over, cryptogram half done and a book at hand. Solving word puzzles was her forte! (see Reader’s Digest August 1995 pg 124, where she was quoted on her dislike of the word “forte”)
A lifelong member of Red Sox nation, the peak of her fandom came when she was able to attend Game 2 of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park with her sons Timothy & Daniel. The Sox went on to win the series. GO SOX!
Sheila was fiercely loyal to her family both immediate and extended. Her cousins were innumerable but she knew and loved them all. One of her favorite days was the annual Crowley- Sweeney 4th of July picnic on Long Hill Rd. aka Cousin Hill. Denise Painter was not only her cousin but her closest friend. They shared many adventures and daiquiris together in East Hampton and while spending winters in Fort Myers, FL at Woodsmoke Camping Resort.
Sheila was a amazing mother, who put her whole heart and soul into raising her 6 children who she leaves behind : Russell F Oakes of Tetonia, ID, Maggie Oakes Joyce and her husband David of Fairfield, Ct, Timothy Fulford Oakes and his wife Pamela Wall Oakes of Chelmsford, MA, Daniel Taylor Oakes of Killington, VT, Jonathan Lovell Oakes and his wife Amphy of Hood River, OR and David Patrick Oakes (her baby boy) and his wife Angie of Moodus, CT. Sheila taught her children through example the value of family, hard work and laughter. Her effort paid off as none are currently incarcerated and pay their taxes on time, mostly.
Her greatest joy in life were her grandchildren : Fiona, Finn, Owen, Sarah, Samuel, Lily, Teaghan, Gavin, Declan and Connor. Whether it was babysitting for Declan and Connor, riding in the school bus with Sarah, Lily, Sam, Finn, Gavin & Teaghan to the start of the Glorious Gallop, attending one of Owen’s baseball games, watching the Old Home Day parade under the tree together or getting a tour of Fiona’s first apartment on Facetime, Sheila’s heart was filled with love and happiness. They could do no wrong in her eyes.
Her devotion to God, family and country was unmatched. Her favorite color was red, white and blue. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to “Flags Over East Hampton”.
During this difficult year remember the good in the world, be kind to each other and hug your mother if you can. Slainte and Love always.
Friends may call at the Spencer Funeral Home 112 Main St. East Hampton on Tuesday Dec. 22nd from 4:00Pm until 7:00PM for a walk through wake. We ask that everyone wear a face covering and maintain social distancing. A Funeral Liturgy will be held privately because of Covid 19 restrictions, with burial in St. Patrick Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sheila K (Crowley) Oakes, please visit our floral store.