Anne Oakley, matriarch of QNI company, dies at 82 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Anne Oakley, matriarch of QNI company, dies at 82

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QUINCY, Ill. (QNI) -

Anne McDonald Oakley, 82, who along with her husband and family helped build Quincy Newspapers -- which owns KWWL -- died Friday (Jan. 30, 2015) at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill.

She was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Raleigh, N.C., a daughter of Ralph and Mabel Peele McDonald. She graduated from Needham Broughton High School in 1950 and from Duke University in 1954.

Anne was an outstanding scholar, having attended Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar, a competitive, fully-paid, four-year scholarship. She was selected to receive one of Duke's highest honors as a member of the Order of the White Duchy, and was recognized for leadership and academic achievement with inclusion in Phi Kappa Delta, an honorary fraternity. She was also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and was active in alumni activities throughout her life.

While at Duke, Anne met Thomas A. Oakley, and they were married on Dec. 22, 1954, in Raleigh. Over the next three years, Anne and Tom were stationed at several Air Force bases around the country, including Enid, Okla., where their first son, Thomas Crawford Oakley II, was born in September of 1955. In October of 1956, while stationed in Tucson, Ariz., their second son, Ralph McDonald Oakley, was born. They returned to Quincy in August of 1957 when Tom rejoined the family business as the fourth generation of his family to do so. In March of 1960, their daughter, Mary McDonald Oakley, was born.

Anne was quick to adopt her new home and surroundings with Southern grace and a sense of purpose. In what can only be described as the backbone of the family, Anne provided the intellect and unwavering support to her husband as they worked along with others in the family to build Quincy Newspapers.

Joining in on the family's civic interests, Anne was active in a number of community boards, serving as president of the Quincy Service League, the Anna Brown Home Women's Board and the Friends of the Library. She served on boards associated with Cheerful Home and the United Way. She was a past president of the Illinois Women's Golf Association, a statewide golf organization with which she was associated for 30 years. She served on the Vestry of her church, St. John's Parish (the former St. John's Episcopal Church). She was a member of Quincy Country Club, the Island Club in Marco Island, Fla., and she and Tom were founding members of Naples National Golf Club in Florida, and she was a past member of Friends in Council.

Despite great blessings in her life, Anne had sadness in her young life, losing her father when she was 9 years old. As a result, she played an important role in rearing her younger brother, Bo, who was only 1 year old at their father's passing. As a young mother, she lost her eldest son, Tommy, in a car accident when he was a sophomore at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Despite having her eyesight significantly impaired by macular degeneration, she continued to play bridge and have lunch with her friends. As her health declined due to chronic COPD, she maintained a steadfast but quiet faith. She has been stoic but rock solid and strong.

Her friends would say they never knew anyone who didn't love and admire Anne Oakley. She was the life of every party, often the last to leave after a night of lively discussions. She was a devoted grandmother, playing a central and never-ending role in the lives of the next generations. She was a self-appointed member of the grammar police. She loved golf and held her own in a family that didn't give many putts. She loved her friends and neighbors in Quincy and Marco Island, and the friends met through business over the decades. She loved her church family at St. John's. She loved playing bridge with the ladies of Murphy's Tables. Anne received extraordinary care and friendship from Dr. Adam Reyburn over the last five years. She also loved and appreciated the help she received in the past few years from Joyce Wellman of Quincy and Maria Waine of Marco Island.

In addition to her husband, Tom, survivors include her son, Ralph McDonald Oakley, and his wife, Lisa, and their children, Allison Oakley Hall (Dustin) and Sullivan Smith Oakley; her daughter, Mary Oakley Winters, and her children, Thomas Lyle Van Ness (Lesley), Benjamin Beeson Van Ness (Amanda), Jonathan McDonald Van Ness and Jennifer Winters Reekie (Kenny); and great-grandchildren, Isla Skye Reekie, Campbell Ian Reekie, Cora Westwater Reekie, Ailsa McCullough Reekie, Olivia Brin Van Ness, William Daniel Hall and Sterling Thomas Van Ness.

She is also survived by a sister, Mabel McDonald Geoghegan, of Raleigh; a brother, Ralph “Bo” McDonald (Meg), of Raleigh; nieces, Mabel Geoghegan Pace (John), of Raleigh, and Dr. Anna Coke McDonald, of Seattle; a brother-in-law, David R. Oakley, and his wife, Mary, of Quincy, and their children, David Oakley (Theresa) of Quincy, Mike Oakley (Ginny) of Dakota Dunes, S.D., Tim Oakley (Denise) of Sioux City, Iowa, Susan Gauthier (Vince) of Kansas City, Mo., and Cathy Bunce (Gary) of Naperville; a sister-in-law, Signe Oakley, of Quincy, and her family, Peter Oakley II (Judy) of Palmyra, Mo., and Hal Oakley (Kathy) of Quincy; a sister-in-law, Shirley McDonald, of Annapolis, Md.; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

Anne was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Tom; a brother, Charles Chalmers McDonald; a niece, Nancy Geoghegan Farish; a son-in-law, Stephen Young Winters; and a brother-in-law, Peter A. (Tony) Oakley.

SERVICES: Anne's life will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at St. John's Anglican Parish, 701 Hampshire, with Fr. Patrick Smith conducting. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery.

MEMORIALS: St. John's Parish or the Oakley Family Scholarship Fund at Quincy University or the T.C. and Mary S. Oakley Descendants Fund of the Community Foundation serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

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