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Opal Porter04/02/2017
Name: Opal Ilene (Porter) Oaks

Birth: 18 Dec 1927 – Dallas Center, Dallas County, Iowa

Death: 2 Apr 2017 – Schenectady, Schenectady County, New York

Cemetery: Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery

Burial: Schuylerville, Saratoga County, New York

Spouse: Willis Charles Oaks

Opal Ilene Oaks, age 89, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center in Schenectady, NY.

Opal was a resident of Scotia, NY, and the surrounding area since 1959. Opal was born to Joseph Leo Porter and Opal Cleo Wheaton, in Dallas, IA, on December 18, 1927. She had very fond memories of her childhood, growing up with a close extended family in the small towns of Dallas and Knoxville, IA.

Opal married Willis Charles Oaks on July 2, 1950, in Knoxville, IA. They lived in Madison, WI, then Rochester, NY, and then moved to Scotia, NY in 1959.

Opal was a secretary at several places over the years. She was very proud to have worked for Colonel Stanley Hemstreet at the 109th Tactical Airlift Group of the Air National Guard in the 1970s. Additionally, she worked as a realtor for Welbourne & Purdy Realty in the late 1970s and ’80s and was pleased to be a member of their Million Dollar Club.

She was a faithful member of the First Reformed Church of Scotia for over 50 years, serving as a Deacon in the 1980s, and enjoying the fellowship of many friends in Circle Joanna for decades.

Opal was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and her family was her greatest joy. When she was not doing something for someone else, she enjoyed flower gardening, flower arranging, and playing bridge. She had a lovely sense of style and was always “put together” just so.

She enjoyed traveling the globe and visited 38 countries during her lifetime. Many of these adventures included sailing with her husband and other good friends, but she also traveled some on her own. She was an incredibly positive person; she greeted each day with a smile, energy, and a great attitude.

It is this characteristic that many of her family and friends will most remember about her.

Opal was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Willis Charles Oaks, in 2008.

Opal is survived by her children, Cheryl Oaks of Fairfield, CT; Kevin Oaks (wife Kate) of Galway, NY; Brian Oaks (wife Nancy “Harlow”) of Tolland, CT; and Nancy Oaks Pfuntner (husband Walt) of Glenville, NY.

She is survived by grandchildren, Sarah Beth Parisi of Stratford, CT; Benjamin Richard Fanelli of Rutherford, NJ; Elizabeth Katherine Krieger of Dewitt, NY; Andrew Charles Oaks of Oneonta, NY; Emily Harlow Oaks of West Hartford, CT; Ian Porter Oaks of Enfield, CT; Walter Alan Pfuntner, III of Glenville, NY; and Margaret Opal Pfuntner of Charlottesville, VA.

She is survived by one great-grandson, Elijah Charles Oaks of Oneonta, NY.

Opal is survived by her sister, Donna Lea Stockley (husband Kenneth) of Earlville, IL. Opal was predeceased by her sister, Joella Mae Snook, and brother Larry Joe Porter, both of Knoxville, IA.

She is also survived by her sister-in-law Mary Alice Johnson of Urbandale, IA, and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Opal’s family wishes to thank the caring staff at Kingsway Arms Nursing Center for their wonderful care of Mom over the last several years, as well as the caregivers from Hospice for their loving support.
Opal Porter
Interment will be next to her husband at the Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville, NY; the committal service will be Thursday, April 6 at noon. At 2 p.m. on the same day, there will be a memorial service at the First Reformed Church of Scotia, 224 N. Ballston Avenue (Rt. 50), to which relatives and friends are invited.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Opal may be made to either the First Reformed Church of Scotia or the Alzheimer’s Association (online at or mailed to Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011).

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