Charles Allen (Chuck) Oakley, 67, of Lander, Wyoming, passed away in his home Tuesday, January 17, 2012, surrounded by his family.
Chuck was born on August 22, 1944, to Charles and Geraldine Oakley. Chuck’s early childhood in Kemmerer, Wyoming, instilled in him a passion for Wyoming, the outdoors, hunting, trapping and fishing.
In 1950, Chuck and his family moved to Lander, Wyoming. His high school athletic career focused on his passions: football, wrestling & pole vaulting.
After graduating from FCVHS in 1962, he received a Wrestling Scholarship to Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. He later transferred to the University of Wyoming earning a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology.
Chuck joined the United States Marine Corps in 1966. His basic training was at Camp Pendleton in California, and he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He loved the Marines, was so very proud of his service to our Country.
June 16, 1967 Chuck married Eileen Schmidt of Gordon, Nebraska. It was the beginning of a strong, loving relationship that was the Oakley family for nearly 45 years.
Chuck and Eileen went back to the University of Wyoming and Chuck earned his Master of Science degree in Range Management in 1971. He then embarked on a career with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. He was hired as a biologist and they moved to Rawlins, Wyoming, where their three daughters, Debbie, Cheri and Ember were born.
In 1977, Chuck became a Game Warden and moved his young family to Kemmerer, Wyoming. Chuck was known as a dedicated, hard-working law enforcement officer. He was President of Wyoming Game Warden’s Association in 1981 - 1982, a founder of the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officer’s Association and participated in the Society of Range Management. In 1988, the family moved to Chuck’s childhood home of Lander and Chuck transferred from the Game & Fish to the State Lands and Investments Office where he embarked on a second career as a land appraiser.
Chuck was very proud of his daughters and always encouraged and supported their high school sports and horses shows.
Chuck and Eileen raised Charolais cows for decades and were members of the Charolais Association and the Fremont County Cattleman’s Association. He was an active supporter of the University of Wyoming Cowboy Joe Club and donated a steer to the “Steer a Year” program for many years.
Chuck was a lifetime member of the Episcopal Church and served his church as an acolyte and lay reader for years.
Chuck was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006.
Chuck was preceded in death by Geraldine Gennett Oakley (mother); Charles Henry Oakley (father); Faye Irene Davis (maternal grandmother).
He is survived by his wife Eileen; daughters: Deborah Marie Simpson (Colin), Cheri Lynn Copeland (Eric), Ember Ann Oakley, grandsons: Mackenzie Simpson, Trey Copeland, Nicholas Simpson and Mason Copeland; his step mother: Chris Oakley, and his sister Christi Oakley; and cousins Jere Borino and Jeannie Cattelan (Ron).
Funeral services were held in Lander, Wyo., over the weekend.