[Masthead] A Few Clouds ~ 68°F  
High: 78°F ~ Low: 65°F
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Obituaries for November 25, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Paul E. Oakley, 52, was born on December 16, 1960 in Lincoln Park, Michigan. He is the son of Dr. & Mrs. William P. Oakley of Dyersburg, Tennessee, who presently serve the Trimble First Baptist Church. At the time of his death he lived in Owensboro, Kentucky where he was the Professor of Music and the Director of Choral and Sacred Music Studies at Kentucky Wesleyan College. He was the editor of a choral series for Colla Voce Music, Inc. Each year, Professor Oakley conducted numerous All-State High School choirs and high school, collegiate and community festival choruses throughout the United States and abroad. Maestro Oakley was a frequent guest conductor of the New York City Chamber Orchestra.

The master conductor Robert Shaw wrote of Mr. Oakley: "Everything I know and intuit about him is absolutely first-rank. He is a superb performer who understands the score and the deeper musical meanings found within the score. He has an extraordinary acquaintance with historical and contemporary choral literatures. He certainly is the best equipped choral scholar-performer I have met in many years."

As a clinician Mr. Oakley has taught at three National Conventions of ACDA and he has performed at four National Conventions of ACDA. He has been a clinician for numerous Divisional Conventions, and was a frequent clinician-conductor at State ACDA and MENC conventions. He taught workshops and performs recitals and hymn festivals for chapters of the American Guild of Organist and the Choristers Guild. He has performed for the national convention of the American Organ builders. In 2006, he delivered the Mortenson Dialogues in Sacred Music at Concordia College in Morehead, Minnesota. He has performed throughout North America and in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, and several Caribbean nations.

Oakley was the Music Director and Conductor of the highly acclaimed Bach Society of Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for over 10 years.

Maestro Oakley has performed in many widely respected venues, among them: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The White House, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Washington National Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Coventry Cathedral, The Cathedral of Notre Dame (Paris), Chartres Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral (Dublin), Salzburg Cathedral, Roy Thompson Hall (Toronto), St. Michael's Collegiate Church in Munich, the National Cathedral of the Church of Sweden in Uppsala, and the Piccolo-Spoleto Festival. He has prepared choruses and been a coach accompanist for many significant conductors including: Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Roger Norrington, Andrew Parrott, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Edo de Waart, Donald Neuen, Ann Howard Jones, Martin Pearlman, David Agler, Kenneth Kiesler, and Eric Whitacre.

Paul E. Oakley held the Master of Music degree in Conducting from Boston University where he was a Dean's Scholar and a student of Dr. Ann Howard Jones. He held two undergraduate degrees from Friends University in Organ Performance and Sacred Music. He was a Presser Scholar in Music.

Maestro Oakley also served at several churches during his career. Those churches include Christ Presbyterian in Edina, MN, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, MN, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Edina, MN, Myers Park Baptist in Charlotte, NC, First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, NC, and First Presbyterian Church in Owensboro, KY.

He also spent time in the areas he served teaching music. These places include The Hartt School in Hartford, CT, East Carolina University in Raleigh, NC, Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, and Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, KY.

Funeral Services for Mr. Oakley will be Tuesday at 10:30 AM at the Trimble First Baptist Church with Dr. William P. Oakley and Joe Oakley officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Dyersburg, TN. Visitation will be Monday from 5 to 8 PM at the Trimble First Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, Paul is survived by 3 sisters, Libby George and her husband Karem of Dyer, Tennessee, Diana Seymour and her husband Clark of Plano, Texas, Michelle Walker and her husband Jeffery of Blytheville, AR; a brother Rev. Joe Oakley and his wife Deborah of Grand Prairie, Texas; Five nieces and nephews and several grand nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his colleague and companion Dennis Jewett of Owensboro, KY.

Pallbearers will be Patrick Wilkerson, Willie George, K.S. George, Clark Seymour, Mason Jewett, and Wade Jewett.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the organ fund of Trimble First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 187, Trimble, TN 38259.

Please sign online condolences at johnson-williamsfuneralhome.com. Johnson-Williams Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Paul E. Oakley.


Robert Thomas "Bob" Stevens, 64, of Dyersburg, died Thursday, November 15, 2012 at Jackson Madison County General Hospital.

He was a retired quality assurance director with M.A. Hanna and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. He served as a Chief Warrant Officer 2 in the United States Army, where he was a helicopter pilot and was awarded the Army Aviator Wings Award during the Vietnam War and was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals, 2 Purple Heart Medals, 19 Air Medals, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 campaign Stars, National Defense Service Medal and several awards from the Republic of Vietnam.

Graveside services were held at 3 p.m. Sunday November 18, 2012 at Fairview Cemetery with the Rev. Larry Blakeburn officiating. Dyersburg Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

The family received visitors from 1:30-3 p.m. Sunday, November 18, 2012 at Dyersburg Funeral Home.

Survivors include his son, Peyton William Stevens and wife, Ashley, of Finley; three sisters, Kathy Finley and husband, Charles A. Jr., of Dyersburg, Gina Spalding and husband, Dr. Robert, of Signal Mountain and Thommie Sue Scott and husband, Jim, of Naples, FL; two grandchildren, Jocelyn Meleia Stevens and Vivian Anne Stevens, both of Finley; two nieces, Holly Finley Hester and husband, Allen, of Dyersburg and Katherine Spalding of Signal Mountain; and one nephew, Charles A. (Chip) Finley III and wife, Lori of Dyersburg.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bertrand and Joanne Hoover Stevens.


Ron Tate, 66, of Dyersburg, died Friday, November 23, 2012 at his residence.

He was a retired employee with a sheet metal construction company, member of Paralyzed Veterans of America and a Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Army.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis with Pastor Rodney Patrick officiating. Dyersburg Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

The family will receive visitors from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Dyersburg Funeral Home.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Tate of Dyersburg; a son, Andrew H. Tate and wife, Michelle, of Halls; three grandchildren, Justin Tate and wife, Maggie, Jaylan Tate and Jada Tate, all of Halls; three great-grandchildren, Liz Vaughn, McKenzie Alley and Lindzey Alley, all of Halls; and an aunt, Judy McCormick of Nashville.

He was preceded in death by his parents, J.C. and Evelyn Moss Tate.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Dyer County Humane Society.


William Crowson, 90, of Dyersburg, died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 at Dyersburg Manor Nursing Center.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Dyersburg Funeral Home.


Vernice Hatley, 85, of Ridgely, died Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Dyersburg Funeral Home.


Helen McBride, 79, of St. Peters, Mo., died Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at Park Lane Care Center in Wentzville, Mo.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Dyer County Memorial Gardens. Dyersburg Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.