Nathan Alan (Rorihowa:nen) Oakes, born October 18, 1975 in Kalamazoo, MI, sadly left this earthly life, peacefully, on December 12, 2022 in Tarpon Springs, FL. He is survived by his parents, Wendell & Patricia (Whitcombe) Oakes of Beverly Hills, FL, his only brother, Nicholas and wife Molly of Citrus Springs, FL, and nephews, Rory & Ryder Oakes. His fiance’, Dawn Shock and her children, Ellie & Donnie. And, of course, his french bulldog, Chanel. Nathan was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Alex H. & Irene (Connors) Oakes, of Akwesasne, NY, Maternal Grandparents Thomas & Patricia (Sovie) Whitcombe, Ogdensburg, NY, his beloved Uncle, Robert H. Garvey of Ogdensburg, and his faithful canine companions, Blu, Suzie and BooBoo.
Nathan proudly served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps from 1994-1998. 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. His primary specialty was mortarman. During his service he was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, Camp Fuji-Okinawa, Japan and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
He always held a special place in his heart for his military family, developing lifelong friendships with many of them.
After his military service, he obtained an Associate Degree from Hesser College in Manchester, NH. He then became a self-driven entrepreneur, starting several businesses throughout his career.
Nicknamed by his father at a very young age, Nathan carried the title of “Pookie or Pookie Bear” by several family members that loved him dearly, and he was a big old teddy bear to all that knew him. This wasn’t his only nickname though, he carried many titles, “Nate, Nate Dogg, Cement Head, and Big Man, to name a few. His grandfather gave him his Mohawk name, Rorihowa:nen, which means Talks Big - Talks A lot. He loved to laugh, flashing his crooked smile. His heart was huge and he loved deeply.
Nathan loved the city of Detroit, MI, his hometown. If you were lucky enough to visit, you were assured to be treated to the greatest tour guide and historian regarding Detroit. And rest assured, you would be taken to eat the “best” pizza (his favorite food) in the City. He loved music, music festivals, classic cars, horsepower, boating and absolutely everything Detroit. Above all Nathan loved his family and friends, and would travel anywhere to see and spend time with them. He traveled abroad several times, and one of his proudest and most humbling trips was accompanying his “Grampa” Oakes back to Normandy to revisit where he served his country during WWII.
He loved to tell a good story, and kept his audience captivated. Nathan took advantage of every opportunity life gave .
To sum it up: “He lived it.”
“Long you live, and high you’ll fly
Smiles you’ll give and tears you'll cry.
And all you touch and all you see
is all your life will ever be”
Services will be held on Monday, January 30th,at 11am at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL
In addition to the funeral, a Celebration of Life event will be held in Detroit, MI in summer of 2023.
Immediately following the ceremony, the family welcomes all those attending to join for a remembrance reception at
V.F.W Post 10137
6036 CR 618
Bushnell, FL 33513
The family requests in lieu of flowers, to please send contribution in memory of Nathan to:
Brain Injury Association of America
PO Box 7416
Merrifield, VA 22116-7416
Wounded Warrior Foundation
10150 Highland Manor Drive #330
Tampa, FL 22610