With broken hearts, we announce the sudden passing of our amazing loving Dad, Harvey Oakley on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at the age of 74 years.
Harvey will be lovingly remembered by his daughter Roberta Oakley with grandchildren Brentt (Crystal) and Brandon (Cailyn) and daughter Roanna (Dan) Parynuik with grandchildren Morgan and Carter. Dad also leaves behind his girlfriend, Karen Striha of Moose Jaw SK, Sister Doreen Beeston of Red Deer AB, Sister in law Marg of Cowan MB, Niece Marty, and Nephews Robert, Derek, Scott and Tim.
Dad met and formed many friendships through his travels for work, time at Delta Beach, and winters in Mazatlan Mexico.
Dad was predeceased by his parents, granddaughter Kaylee (2001), Brother Morris (1995), Brother Eddie (2019) Brother in law Ernie (1994), nephews Mike and Brad.
Dad was born in the R.M. of Clanwilliam, the youngest of 4 children. After Dad’s parents separated when he was very young, the family moved to Minnedosa Valley. A few years later, after their home burned down, they moved to a farm in High Bluff, where the kids walked a few miles to school every day. Eventually the family moved into Portage where they lived in multiple homes, before moving to a farm a few miles out of town.
Dad attended Victoria School and Portage Collegiate Institute. He left school in Grade nine to work, as he was too young to attend MIT.
Dad lived in a house near Southside rink, and spent a lot of time outdoors skating and playing hockey.
After high school he went to Thompson where he worked at INCO. In spring of 1966 he returned to Winnipeg and went to MIT (Red River Community College) to take an Electrician Course, Graduating in 1967.
Till 1970 or 71 Dad did his journeyman with a small electrical company. He then started with DOT (Department of Transport). Dad spent many months at a time in the Arctic, and in the Southern Region between Thunder Bay and Prince Albert. Most was in relation to airport runway lighting. In the years before his retirement, he spent many months per year in Churchill. He was proud to show his Polar Bear pictures and tell stories of his many adventures on and off the job. In 1998 Dad was thrilled that Roanna was able to make a trip to Churchill for a few days. He loved to show off his girls and show off his work. He was proud of the environmental cleanup he helped with, including the locating and detonation of the bombs left over from the Cold War.
In Churchill he met many wonderful people, who remained friends after his retirement in 2006.
In 1969 he was blessed with his first born Roberta, welcoming Roanna in 1972, completing his family. As an example of his life on the road, he was in the Arctic when Roanna was born, it was not a time, when they prioritized ensuring Dads were home for such things. He met her a day later. He would not have been allowed in the room at that time anyway, as he hadn’t been allowed with Roberta either.
In 1990 his heart burst open with the birth of his first grandchild A BOY, Brentt. Brentt spent several years as the only grandchild/nephew and was spoiled rotten with love, attention, time and probably a few toys. In 1997 Brandon joined the family, another boy for Dad to love! 1999 brought his only Granddaughter. He loved having another girl around after having 2 daughters. In 2002 the youngest grandchild arrived, another boy, Carter. He now had another boy to rough house with. Their conversations were usually about hunting/guns, fishing or The Jets and Bombers. Dad loved his grandkids so much and were so very proud of each of them. In recent years, Brentt & Brandon got a matching Spider tattoo that Dad already had got years ago.
Dad was also blessed with 5 fur granddaughters. He sure loved them, and left covered in hair every visit, but he didn’t care. Dad also had a fur best buddy, Rudy at Delta. Rudy lived a couple of doors over, and always had a visit for Dad, it may or may not have been about the cookies he ALWAYS had for him. If Rudy was missing, his ‘parents’ knew where to find him. Dad was his daycare when his ‘parents’ had to be away for an extended period. Dad loved every minute of that. Rudy passed away last fall, and we know he was there to meet Dad with his tail wagging and waiting for his cookie.
In younger years Dad enjoyed the outdoors hunting, and fishing. Being on the road so much, he didn’t have a lot of down time. In retirement he made and collected knives.
Over the years as the grandkids got older, there were many sports to watch. I don’t think we could calculate how many games he watched. He made it to almost everyone. Some outside in the heat or freezing cold, or in a cold rink, or hot gym, he was there. As much as he loved being a snow bird, it meant he had to miss games, often playoff games.
In 1979 Dad bought his second home, a cottage at Delta, to be closer to his girls. We have many memories of running around with the other Delta kids, walking to the store for goodies, spooky stories, Saturday night polka parties, skunk encounters and of course lots and lots of swimming. We were in the water many hours a day. We had the darkest tans at the end of summer. As the grandkids came, they also have memories of the swimming in the lake, sinking in the ‘mud’ and fishing at the bridge. The kids were old enough that after the flood in 2011, they lent their muscles for anything they could to help with clean up. Even using Carter to go under the cabin to remove things, as he didn’t even have to bend over, as the rest of would have had to.
“ONLY SOMEONE LOVED SO MUCH, WILL BE MISSED SO MUCH”
Viewing and slideshow will be held on Friday, April 30, 2021 at McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. A private family internment will take place at Hillside Cemetery.
As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made in Dad’s memory to Portage Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), 121 12th St. NE, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 4A2 or Delta Beach Association - RR # 1 Box 28 Site 1 Delta Beach, MB R1N 3A1.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harvey Oakley, please visit our floral store.