Susan Tullis Oakes, 88, passed away on April 14, 2022, in Birmingham, AL, surrounded by family and shrouded with love.
A resident of Alexander City since 1978, she lived in Willow Point for 35 years and Alexander City for more than eight years. Ms. Oakes was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Alexander City where she served as an elder. She was a coordinator of volunteers for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at Central Alabama Community College, a volunteer for Volunteer Connections, where she helped coordinate tax return processing, and a greeter for the Russell Medical Center Auxiliary where she welcomed visitors with a smile and directed them to locations inside the hospital.
Ms. Oakes was born in Valdosta, GA, on May 7, 1933, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Valdosta State College. She was married to the late Col. David L. Oakes, and lived in California, Alabama, Germany, Massachusetts, Japan and Okinawa. They were divorced in 1983.
She was predeceased by her father, Ernest W. Tullis, her mother, Ruth Arrington Tullis, brothers Bill, Henry and Jerry, and sisters Penny McCroan, Ruth Morrison and Mildred Stephens.
Ms. Oakes is survived by sons David (Terry) and Stephen(Susan); grandchildren Logan (Hannah), Kathryn (Jess), and Bradley (Carrie) and great granddaughter Penny; and her sister Mary Tullis Rines of Riverside, California; and many cousins,nieces and nephews.
While living on Lake Martin, her house was Camp Grandma for her grandchildren where they spent many happy summers water skiing and tubing from the back of her pontoon boat, gardeningalongside her, painting pictures, playing games and enjoying her love and devotion.
Known as the Lady of the Lake, she babysat children and dogs for decades. She enjoyed watching many of her charges grow into adulthood. More than a sitter, she touched the lives of children and families with her kindness, humor, love, playfulness, and gentle guidance and wisdom.
An avid bridge player, she looked forward to weekly games with her friends at Willow Point, in her home and at a local church.
Few people were strangers to her. In the rare instances that they were, her engaging and outgoing personality encouraged them to tell her about their lives.
A memorial service for Ms. Oakes will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 371 Jefferson Street, Alexander City, on Friday, May 13. The family will host a visitation at 10 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service. The family will hold a private interment. In lieu of flowers, her wishes are that a donation be made to the First Presbyterian Church or Children’s Harbor in Alexander City.