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Stanley Oakes

$365.00 (raised so far)

About Stanley Oakes

Stanley Oakes passed away peacefully on October 9, Thanksgiving Day, after a full and productive life. He will be remembered for making significant contributions as a WWII soldier, his work as a professional engineer, and as a father of four, a grandfather, and an uncle.

Stan was born in 1919 at the Hudson Bay Company post in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan. After receiving an inheritance from England in 1926, the family moved to the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island where the children attended Saanichton School and helped on the farm. Stan started university at age 16, attending Victoria College at Craigdarroch Castle, and then served as a Corporal in the 1st Canadian Survey Regiment RCA from 1940–1945, seeing action in Italy and Holland.  After the war, he returned to attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where he earned his Civil Engineering degree, graduating in the class of 1949. As a university student, Stan rented a room in a Kitsilano boarding house where he was greeted at the door by Mary Galpin. In 1948 they married and lived a full life together.

As a civil engineer in British Columbia from the 1950 to the 1980s, Stan designed many highway and railway bridges spanning the “Mighty Fraser”, Peace, and Columbia rivers. He was also active in the community, serving on the Saanich School Board, organizing the Cordova Bay Community Club, and helping establish the Unitarian Church in Victoria.

After retirement, Stan built his and Mary’s home at Youbou on Cowichan Lake, a favourite holidaying spot for generations of family and friends. For many of their retirement years, Stan and Mary spent winters in Mexico, where Stan studied Spanish and was known for his delicious pan-fried prawns. Stan was happiest playing badminton, tennis, and golf, researching stocks, fishing, tending the BBQ, and helping children with their homework.

Stan will be missed by his wife Mary, daughters Janet Oakes (Brian) and Jean Osborne, son James, and daughter Doreen Oakes (Ted); and by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephew, and their children.

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The impact of your support

In Stan’s memory, his family invites you to support the University of BC Civil 1949 Bursary award. The award was made possible by the Graduating Class of Civil Engineers 1949, of which Stan was a member. It was created in celebration of their 60th anniversary, in memory of a unique mix of students, many of whom were veterans who had recently returned to civilian life following the end of World War II.

The Civil Class of 1949 maintained a strong bond that resulted in frequent and ongoing contact with and support of UBC. Your gift to the bursary award will be a fitting tribute to Stan’s life and will help students in financial need to focus on their studies and become more engaged in the transformative learning experiences that university provides.

Messages of Remembrance

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  • While my partner Larry Loyie (www.firstnationswriter.com) and I were working on Larry's book Toma, Voyageur, about Larry's 4 times great grandfather, an Iroquois voyageur in 1828, we were kindly invited to talk to Stanley Oakes about his time at York Factory with the Hudson's Bay Company. Stanley Oakes was a man who lived a fascinating life of commitment, energy, and intelligence. I am grateful to his son, James Oakes, our longtime friend, for introducing us to his dad, and for always keeping us up to date on his parents' activities.

    Constance Brissenden, Friend of James Oakes
List of Donors
  • Mary Oakes

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Kevin Dale McKeown

  • John Streit

  • Anonymous & Offline Donations

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