Teachers Make A Difference

Well, Blog Friends, you may have noticed that I have not posted in a while.  The simple, yet devastating reason is that I lost Stan, my dear husband of 26 years, on May 4, of a sudden cardiac arrest.  Stan was remarkable in life and managed to squeeze a lot of significance into 57 short years.

A professional violist, he played for weddings, parties, concerts, Broadway shows and for numerous famous people and dignitaries across his career.  He was actually on a gig, treasured viola in hand, when he collapsed.

Stan taught public school orchestra for 28 years, 18 in middle school and 10 in high school. We, as teachers, can take inspiration from the amazing impact he had on students over these years for he changed hundreds of lives with his love and knowledge of music, his character, and his involvement with their individual lives.  

Stanley Oakes-491
Oh, the outpouring of sentiment from his students and their families, past and present, as they spoke of his influence.  Let me tell you, teachers make a difference!  

This prose perfectly, perfectly reflects the life of Stanley J. Oakes.

to laugh
A devout Christian,  Stan freely gave his life and talent to the God he loved, serving the church in numerous capacities, including being a minister of music for over 30 years.

Together, we raised two beautiful daughters.  Victoria, married to Thomas, is an elementary music teacher and Alexandra is a senior in college.  As a family, we have enjoyed great times of music and travel.  Words cannot begin to express how much we will miss this man’s place in our family…..his ridiculous love of fun and dessert, his brilliant mind, his energy…..all of it.

One of Stan’s many remarkable traits was his steady, joyful approach to life and so, in his honor, we press on with tenacity and with joy. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart!

Stanley Oakes 4



  1. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Leslie Jared

    So well said, Debbie. It’s a pleasure to work in the district with you and I consider you a wonderful role model. I think of you and your family often.

    • Thank you, Leslie, for the kind words. I love working with you, as well.

  3. Gayla King

    Well said. Those who know him, miss him.

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