Massena - Richard Norman Oakes, 78, of State Highway 420, Massena, died unexpectedly on Thursday afternoon (February 7, 2013).

Richard was born October 16, 1934, in Massena to John Edward Oakes and Isabel Catherine Parkinson.

He attended Massena schools and served in the US Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1957. Richard began his excavating and construction career at the age of 16, working for his grandfather and uncle at William Oakes and Sons in Massena for 9 years.

On October 6, 1956, he married Barbara Ann Gabri at St. Joseph's Church in Massena.  They raised one son and three daughters together, also living briefly in El Paso and Del Rio Texas and Alexandria Bay, NY in the early to mid 1960s, before returning to Massena.

Richard worked on the St. Lawrence Seaway with Badgett Mine (1955-1956), the Dutch-Snell Lock, on Route 87 with DeFelice (1963), and on Route 81 with Lane (1964-1966).  He became self-employed in 1968, owner of Oakes Excavating, and later began Oakes Used Parts and Equipment.

He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Roland J. and Gary E., and sister R. Elaine Bradham.

Richard is survived by his wife, Barbara, his daughters Valerie Oakes,  Ann Oakes and Stephanie Lynn (Andrew) Simpson all of Massena, Julie Ann Oakes of Suffield Connecticut, and his son, Richard Michael (Rebecca) of Massena, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also, a brother Robert W. of Fruitland Park, Florida and sister, Shirley M. Zimmer of Libertyville, Illinois; several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours or funeral services. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are under the care of the Phillips Memorial Home in Massena.

Donations may be made to the American Heart Association and the Alzheimer's Association.

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