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Rowland A. Oakes

1918 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Rowland A. Oakes Obituary
Rowland A. Oakes

Rowland A. Oakes of Stage Neck Colony, and a long-time resident of Reno, NV died Sunday, March 10, 2013. He was born on March 23, 1918, the son of Winfield E. and Bessie (Nicholas) Oakes. He graduated from Concord High, Class of 1935.

He was Sec-Mgr of the AGC of NH & Vermont for eight years, moving to Reno, NV where he was Sec-Mgr of the Nevada Chapter, Associated General Contractors, for over 30 years and guided the Chapters growth from 30 members to an active and influential group of more than 300 members employing more than 5000 Nevadans.

He also served as Secretary of the Nevada State Contractors Licensing Board for eight years. He served on many commissions appointed by the various NV governors. He was elected by his peers as President of the Secretaries and Managers Council of the National AGC in 1971.

He was honored for his service and dedication to the construction industry in Nevaada by the Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO; No. Nevada Operating Engineers Affirmative Action Trust; Laborers Union of North America Local 169. He was guest lecturer at the University of Nevada in College of Engineering from 1980-1985. He was an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects. He was appointed Member number 624 of the American Institute of Constructors in 1973. He served as management trustee on more than a dozen administered Health, Welfare and Pension funds. He negotiated construction collective bargaining agreements for more than 30 years in Northern NV; Co-Chairman of the Nevada Environmental Trust, Co-Chairman of the Construction Opportunity Trust; appointed to serve as the lay member for the Advisory Committee of the Washoe Bar Association in 1977. Eight years on Reno Mayor's Advisory Council, 15 year member of the Nevada Industrial Commision Labor-Management Advisory Board.

Governor Bob Miller proclaimed January 16, 1990 in Nevada as a day in Honor of Rowland Oakes.

In 1989, when he retired, the Nevada Chapter, AGC, honored him with the SIR AWard, an acronym for the motto, "Skill, Integrity Responsibility" in recognition of his contributions to the construction industry.

He was a 63 year member of the Horace Chase Lodge #72, Penacook, NH, over fifty year member of the Kerak Shrine and the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Reno, NV, Reno Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

His life was dedicated to hard work, professional integrity, far reaching and positive changes in the construction industry and making his community a better place.

He was President of the Reno Builders Exchange, Inc., a weekly construction publication and Oakmans, a retail store for 38 years.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Elizabeth Sleeper Oakes, son Thomas W. Oakes, and brothers, Howard, Ray, John, Lloyd and sisters Ruth Richter and Beverly Ellis.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne L. Padgett Oakes of over 53 years, son John E. Oakes (Reynette) Reno, NV, James Paul Oakes, Ramona, CA, daughters Karen Oakes Eddington (Gary) Las Vegas, NV, Virginia Oakes Acosta (Roberto) Manchester, NH and Gail Oakes Darrell (Doug) Ctr. Barnstead, NH, 17 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express their deep gratitude for the love and support of the home health nurse Kelly Lerude, York Hospital, and the staff of York Hospice and Pallative Care group, especially, Carol, Shannon, Jamie, Chaplain Shea, Mary and Jane. We are deeply grateful for the loving care of his caregiver, Cathy, who made his last days bright and beautiful, and Martha who brought sunshine into our home with her loving support.

A Funeral service will be held at the First Parish Church, 180 York St., on Saturday, March 16th at 11 A.M. followed by a reception at Stage Neck Inn. Burial will be in the spring at First Parish Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shrine Hospital for Children, c/o Kerak Shrine, 4935 Energy Way, Reno, NV 89502, St. Aspinquid Masonic Lodge, P. O. Box 408, York, ME 03909 and First Parish Church, 180 York St., York, ME 03909. Lucas & Eaton Funeral Home, 91 Long Sands Rd., York, Maine is directing arrangements. Visit

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Mar. 13, 2013
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