A Volunteer for Gettysburg
Jim Oakley was a Civil War buff, so he was happy to be a parent volunteer when one of his daughters went on a class trip to Gettysburg. In fact, he had such a good time camping and re-enacting the great battle that "he insisted on bringing the whole family down" to Gettysburg that summer, said his wife, Denise I. Oakley.
That trip was rivaled perhaps by the class trip he took with another daughter to Fort Ticonderoga to re-enact a battle of the Revolutionary War. "That time, they gave him a uniform," Mrs. Oakley said, adding that her husband had been looking forward to accompanying his youngest daughter on her class trip.
James A. Oakley always found time for his four daughters, ages 26 to 11, despite a daily three-hour round-trip commute from Cortlandt Manor in northern Westchester County to the World Trade Center, where he worked for Marsh & McLennan as senior vice president for information technology.
One of those daughters is starting to share his interest in history. "We have Civil War books all over the house, and the nice part is that she's started to pick up some of them," Mrs. Oakley said. "So she's going to carry on that interest."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.