Cover photo for Allene Oaks's Obituary
Allene Oaks Profile Photo

Allene Oaks

August 26, 1922 — January 19, 2024

Allene Oaks

August 26, 1922 — January 19, 2024

Allene was born in northern Mississippi on August 26, 1922. She was the third of ten children, born to John Bucklin Burns, and his wife, Iris Estelle Arnold Burns. Both her father and mother were schoolteachers in her early years. In 1928 her father became a Methodist minister. The family moved around in northern Mississippi a good bit due to her father being assigned to several churches there. As she grew, she regularly played the piano for the Sunday services. She attended Wood Community College for 2 years, until the start of World War II. During the war, she and her next younger sister Inez, became ‘Rosie the riveters’. They helped build airplanes – B-25’s in Memphis, Tennessee, and FR-1’s in San Diego, California.

 At the conclusion of the war, she attended Scarritt College in Tennessee. Being a devout Christian, she majored in Religious Education. Upon graduation, she took a job as Director of Christian Education at the First Methodist Church of Urbana, Illinois. On one of her trips back home she ran into her old high school and college sweetheart, Harold Dean Oaks. On June 28, 1949 she and Harold Dean were married.  They moved around a good bit the first several years of their marriage - Colorado, California, Tennessee, Arkansas, and again to Colorado, and then to California. California became their permanent home. Along the way they had 3 children - Harold Jr, Carol, and Howard.

 Allene worked as the Minister of Education for the First Methodist Church of San Diego, California. Later she also taught most of the primary grades in elementary schools and taught Physical Education, Spanish Language, and Social Studies in junior high schools. Upon her retirement, Allene and Harold Dean toured the southwest in travel trailers with Inez and Floyd Oaks. Once they became grandparents, they devoted much of their time to the care and education of their grandchildren.

 Upon the death of her dear husband in 1997, Allene moved to North Carolina, where her youngest son, Howard, lived. She would leave in the early spring of the year and travel to visit relatives around the country. She kept her visits short, to not overstay her welcome. This resulted in requests to come back soon and visit more. As the weather began to cool in the late fall, she would make her way back to North Carolina for the winter.

 Allene liked to talk, and shared numerous stories with just about anybody who would listen. She had a walking routine, which consisted of three to four miles daily. She met and befriended many people along her walking route. She also loved the piano and played by ear. This meant that she could play any song she could hum. After suffering a major stroke in 2014, she was admitted to the Hope Mills Retirement Center, in North Carolina. There she played the piano for the church services (Sundays and mid-week) and entertained the ‘old folks’ every day by playing all the songs popular in the 1920’s – 1950’s as they were requested.

 Family was very important to Allene. She came from a large, tight-knit family, married into a large, tight-knit family, and attended family reunions almost every year. She leaves behind two sisters (Anna and Sarah), two sisters-in-law (Lois and Alice), a brother-in-law (Tom), three children (Hal, Carol, and Howard), two daughters-in-law (Linda and Celia), a son-in-law (John), seven grandchildren (Kenny, Aaron, Ryan, Jonathan, Dean, Matt, and Alexandra), three granddaughters-in-law (Natalie, Sara, and Katie), and seven great grandchildren (Tucker, Lily, Maggie, Claire, Avery, Alice, and Owen).

 She lived a full life in her 101 years and is missed by all those who knew her. Her very strong Christian beliefs surely helped her find the way to heaven, where she is now with her loving husband (Harold Dean), parents (John and Iris), sisters (Myrtle, Ruby, Inez, Margie, and Mary), and brothers (Bob and Jimmy).

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service of Allene Oaks

Saturday, February 3, 2024

2:30 - 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

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