NICEVILLE, Fla. - Barbara Jeanne Oakes of Niceville, formerly of Derrick City, Pa., passed away Thursday (Dec. 6, 2012) following a courageous battle against cancer.
She was born on Aug. 27, 1943, in Chicago, Ill.
After graduating high school, she attended Grove City College and Baylor University, where she received her college degree (she also obtained an MBA later in life).
As a military spouse, Barbara lived across the United States and Europe. She was an adventurer and made the very most for her family at each location they lived. She loved to travel and enjoyed everything from riding a camel in the shadows of the Pyramids, to hunting for antiques in Istanbul, drinking coffee on the West Bank in Paris, and skiing the slopes of the Zugspitze. She greatly enjoyed sports and was an avid water and snow skier. She also loved a thrill such as a ride-along on an F-16, zip lining and parasailing.
In addition to being a wonderful family person, Barbara had a long and distinguished career in the civil service, starting out as a typist at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and working her way up to program manager at Eglin Air Force Base, a job from which she retired earlier this year.
Barbara was an extraordinarily loving daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, and a wonderful friend to many. She is, and will continue be, terribly missed.
She is survived by her husband, Col. (Ret.) Howard Oakes; three sons, Howard (Claudia), Rob (Tobi) and John (Rachel) Oakes; five grandchildren, Jim, Josh, Jack, Benjamin and Levi; and one brother, John Olmstead.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, John and Fern Olmstead.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks to be made by making a donation to Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center in Niceville or Children in Crisis Inc. of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.