CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Robin Ann (Oakes) Bebel, 58, of Charlottesville, Va., formerly of DeKalb, passed away from complications of a heart attack Sunday, April 21, 2013, surrounded by her family.
Robin was born Oct. 15, 1954, in Neptune, N.J., to Frank and Mary Jane Oakes. She was a graduate of Wall Township High School and graduated with honors from Allegheny College with a Bachelor of Arts in French.
She was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) in Manasquan, N.J. At the time of her passing, she was the assistant director of the Center of Survey Research in the Wendell Cooper Center at the University of Virginia. While living in DeKalb, she was the operations manager at the Public Opinion Lab at Northern Illinois University. She was a recognized and respected member of the Field Directors division of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers (AAPOR). Her membership and status in AAPOR also allowed her to pursue her love of travel and enjoy major cities of North America.
Robin married Dennis Bebel, of Howell Township, N.J., in August of 1978. Their lives together took them to Delaware, Ohio, and Houston, Texas, before settling in DeKalb. She has two children: Nicholas Oakes, born in Houston in 1986, and Sara Margaret (Maggie), born in DeKalb in 1993. In addition, while in Charlottesville, the family adopted a beautiful, hazel-eyed beagle, Sophie.
Robin was a loving wife, beautiful friend, caring and devoted mother to Nick and Maggie, a capable assistant baseball and softball coach, a saint in dealing with the youngest member of the family, Sophie, and an intelligent and dedicated researcher and manager. She was known within the DeKalb school system and park district as "Nick's Mom" and "Maggie's Mom." She could be regularly found at Ollie's Frozen Custard with her family and co-workers all savoring Ollie's frozen delicacies.
Her love of reading, particularly science fiction and fantasy, inspired her daughter and niece to expand their reading horizons. She sought to encourage her children to educate themselves on everything from life skills to home crafts to gaining a desire to explore the world beyond themselves. She was completely devoted to family and friends. She looked forward to celebrations with the Laytons, the Oakes and the Bebels – except for the garlic part, and was dedicated to her coworkers. Her cookies and dessert breads were always highly anticipated by all. As her last act of kindness, Robin wished to donate her organs to save others' lives. She was able to help three people with her passing.
Robin is survived by her husband; two children; the family beagle; as well as her father, Frank; younger sister, LuAnn; brother-in-law, Michael; niece, Alexandra; and nephew, John Robert "Bobby."
She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Jane (Layton) Oakes.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her name be made to either the donor's favorite charity, the Religious Society of Friends Manasquan Meeting (2257 Meeting House Road Manasquan, NJ 08736), or to the University of Virginia's Stroke Center ( and follow the steps).
Published in Daily Chronicle on Apr. 26, 2013