Bernard (Tripp) Oakley III died unexpectedly in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 2, 2013. He was 37 years old. Tripp had been teaching English abroad for several years and he had held his current job at the Bina Bangsa School in Jakarta for a year.
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Tripp graduated from Williams High School in 1994 where he was an honor student and starting goalie for the soccer team for three years. Tripp then attended Guilford College in Greensboro, earning a double major in English and Philosophy. He started at goalie for the Guilford soccer team his freshman year. He later attended graduate school at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. He received a Masters Degree in English and also earned his teaching certificate and license during his study there.
His first teaching jobs were in bush fishing villages in Alaska. These villages were accessible only by plane. He taught for two years in Chignik Lake, Alaska – a village with fewer than 200 people on the Alaskan Peninsula. He taught another year on the North Slope of Alaska in Kaktovik – a village of approximately 300 people.
After returning to Burlington, Tripp took a job with Millender Furniture as the Quality Control executive based in Dansui, China. He kept that job for over three years during which time he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Tripp then took a job in China as an English teacher. He continued to work as an English teacher in China, Kuwait and, finally, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Tripp had a great love for sports and music. He was an avid fan of the UNC Tar Heels, even though he was often thousands of miles away. Tripp played basketball, soccer and football at Turrentine Middle School. He started at goalie in soccer and guard on the Turrentine basketball team and won the Coach's Award in both sports in the eighth grade. His most memorable sports moment in middle school was kicking the first field goal in Turrentine Middle School history which won the football game against Southern Middle School with only a few seconds left. His teammates carried him from the field in celebration.
At Williams High, Tripp concentrated on soccer. He was the starting goalie for three years. During his senior year the WHS soccer team was ranked number one in the state. Tripp was a captain of the team and again won the Coach's Award his senior year. He was also All-Conference and All-Region his Senior year.
Music was another constant in his life. He began taking piano lessons in elementary school and continued this study through his senior year in high school. He also began taking classical guitar during middle school and continued into high school. He continued to play and perform as a guitarist during all of his travels.
He is survived by his parents, Debbie and Bernie Oakley of Burlington, his great friend and brother, Matt, of Wilmington, his aunt and uncle, Cindy and Robert Taylor, of Newport, N.C., his cousins Jennifer and Derek Van Sickle and his niece, Cora. Tripp's fiancée, Jill Noval, lives on their farm in Mindanao, Philippines. They planned to marry in December 2013 after a long courtship. Tripp will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
Memorial Services were held in Jakarta at the Bina Bangsa School on April 4 and 5.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Pat Tillman Foundation in Tripp's memory.
Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service in Burlington submitted local information.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com.
Rich and Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service
306 Glenwood Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Apr. 5 to Apr. 6, 2013