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Linda Ellen Oakes

Linda Ellen Oakes died on June 3, 2024 in Garden City, Kansas at the age of 83. Although a longtime resident of Garden City, Linda was born on June 24, 1940 in Paden, Oklahoma, the third and youngest child of Cecil Everett Oakes, a prominent educator and superintendent of schools in Okemah, OK, and Frances Larson Oakes.

Despite previously being an Oklahoma University graduate, Linda’s Swedish heritage led her to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. From there, she transferred to Oklahoma City University, where she graduated after earning her teaching credential. Linda then followed in her father’s strong footsteps and entered the teaching profession in Okemah. One memorable summer, while visiting her maternal Uncle Andrew and Aunt Jean Larson in Garden City, she was invited to apply for a job as an elementary school teacher for $457, which she immediately accepted. Thus began her life as a proud member of the Garden City community where she lived until her passing.

An entrepreneurial dream lured Linda away from her successful years in primary education. She devoted the remainder of her professional life to the hard and rewarding work of being a retailer, starting several of her own small businesses. Specializing in kitchen and bathroom decor, the Linen Gallery and Bath House brought beauty and functionality to many homes in southwestern Kansas. She completed her career at All About Windows, a curtain and window covering design company, which took her on the road from Wichita to Denver and everywhere in between.

Throughout her busy and productive life, Linda found solid ground in her relationship with Christ and in her community of Methodist believers. She was passionate about participating and ultimately leading the Walk to Emmaus, a discipleship program that gives Christians the confidence and skills to thrive in a fruitful walk with Jesus. Linda was a great example of the success of the program.

Linda loved her pets, traveling and the many people God brought her way. In all her endeavors she was known as a faithful friend to many, a diligent worker who kept her appointments, and a favorite cousin in her large family. Along with her famous sense of humor, her deep faith was reflected in the bright and joyful manner in which she joined in singing hymns and pleasant conversations, even during the dark days of amnesia. She will be greatly missed.

Linda died at her Homestead residence from complications due to dementia and is preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Cecil Oakes Jr.; and her sister, Karen Leverridge. She is survived by five nieces and nephews and numerous cousins, including Karin Larson Henkle and Andrew Larson Jr., both of Garden City.

All are invited to her memorial service on Saturday, June 15, at 10:30 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church, 1719 Texas Street. The service will be led by Pastor Gary Davison of The Faith Community, a Global Methodist Church. She will be buried immediately afterwards at Valley View Cemetery with a graveside service. Following the service, please join the family at the Presbyterian Church for a fellowship luncheon.

Memorial offerings in her honor may be given to Faith Community Global Methodist Church in care of Garnand Funeral Home.

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