Dean D. Oakley, 89, of Ashland died early Tuesday, February 23, 2021 following a brief illness. Born December 25, 1931 in Akron , Ohio to Helen M. (nee Spence) and Waldo B Oakley. Dean relished the fact he had a Christmas birthday and his collection of holiday decorations proved it!
Dean split his time between Ashland and Wooster. with frequent travels to Florida, the East and West Coast, Las Vegas and Colorado to visit cousins in his RV. His beloved travel companion Tarsus, (aka The Bear)his German shepherd rode shotgun, with family often joining in.
Dean enjoyed sharing stories of his life with everyone and anyone who would listen, especially those stories of playing football for Ashland High School, playing softball for Faultless (and the beer parties afterward), selling cars, antiquing, but mostly of owning The A&W drive-in in Wooster, Ohio. The A & W was his pride and joy, and Dean enjoyed sharing pictures of his "kids" who worked for him. Dean would light up when talking about taking them to Cedar Point after the A&W closed for the season. He loved when people would remember the business and food even years after closing, basking in the recognition (The Big-O and twirly taters). Afterwards Dean owned and ran several businesses in Shreve, Ohio. Every year Dean looked forward to the Wayne County fair, and kept the tickets to all the concerts he saw. He love working in his yard and hearing the positive comments about how amazing it looked. His love of cardinals and the color red was evident everywhere in his yard and home. Dean was definitely a staunch lifelong OSU fan (O-H—I-O!….GO BUCKS!)
Everyone who knew Dean knew he was loud, crazy and stubborn. He was fiercely independent and wasted no time giving you his opinion. Dean had the gift of gab and was always the joking. People would smile and shake their head and say "I know Dean!". He was loyal to his friends and business associates.
Dean was a life long bachelor and enjoyed all 89 years of it. Dean is survived by brother Robert G. (Orene) Oakley of Mansfield, nephew Tom (Gigi) Oakley of Ashland and niece Susan (Eric) Copsey of Ruggles, Oh. Dean enjoyed the company of numerous cousins and adopted extended family throughout the county. Dean was proceeded in death by his mother Helen, father Waldo and still born twin brother Dwayne Dale.
Heyl Funeral Home will be handling internment at Ashland Cemetery. There will be no services, per his very vocal request. Dean loved animals, in his honor contributions may be made to No Paws Left Behind, 1130 East Main St. Suite 116, Ashland, Ohio 44805 or your local animal shelter.
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