Thomas A. Oakley laid to rest

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 1:08 PM CDT
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Thomas A. Oakley's "Celebration of Life" service at St. John's Anglican Church.
Thomas A. Oakley's "Celebration of Life" service at St. John's Anglican Church.(WGEM)

QUINCY (WGEM) - Thomas A. Oakley, local media executive, entrepreneur, philanthropist and economic development and transportation advocate was laid to rest on Wednesday.

Friends and family gathered in the morning for a Celebration of Life service at St. John’s Anglican Church in downtown Quincy.

Oakley was a fierce advocate for transportation and economic development, and among those in attendance were lawmakers, engineers and community leaders who worked alongside Oakley on regional projects.

The longtime president and CEO of Quincy Newspapers, Incorporated died last week in his Quincy home.

Oakley, who was 89-years-old, was laid to rest at Woodland Cemetery.

Oakley was born June 24, 1932, in Quincy, a son of Thomas C. and Mary S. Oakley.

He married Anne McDonald of Raleigh, N.C., on Dec. 22, 1954, in Raleigh, N.C. She preceded him in death on Jan. 30, 2015.

He graduated from Quincy High School in June 1950, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University in Durham, N.C., in 1954.

Oakley joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954, serving for three years, including two years flying a B-47 with Strategic Air Command. He was honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant in 1957 and later was a captain in the inactive Reserves.

He was stationed at several air bases around the country, including in Enid, Okla., where he and his wife had their first son, Thomas Crawford Oakley II, in September 1955. Tommy was killed in a car accident on Oct. 11, 1974, when he was a sophomore at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

In October 1956, while stationed in Tucson, Ariz., their second son, Ralph McDonald Oakley, was born.

In August 1957, Oakley and his family returned to Quincy, and in March 1960, their daughter, Mary McDonald Oakley, was born.

Upon returning home, he rejoined his family business, the fourth generation to do so. The family business was Quincy Newspapers Inc., later renamed Quincy Media Inc.

Read more of Thomas A. Oakley’s legacy here.

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