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John Morgan Oakes

John Morgan Oakes passed away in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday, April 15, 2008. He is survived by his wife, Bette, and two daughters: Nancy Oakes-Hall, her husband, Jay Hall, and daughter Heather; Jennifer Pielsticker, her husband Bob and daughter Sara; also his brother, Harold Oakes and his wife Ruth.

John was a devoted and loving husband to Bette for 52 years and a dedicated father. He was born Nov. 26, 1925, in Denver, where he graduated from East High School. John attended Dartmouth College and then served in the U.S. Navy for three years, traveling in the South Pacific and Europe. After the war, John earned a degree in law from the University of Denver in 1950. Upon his graduation, John worked in the field with Sun Oil Company.

John’s love for the outdoors, particularly skiing, brought him to Aspen. In 1952, he co-founded Aspen Sports with his longtime friend Gale Spence. Another retail business was established in Sun Valley, Idaho, in the mid-’70s. John was a pilot and enjoyed flying his plane with his family to different parts of the country.



Through the course of John’s business career, he served on the Pitkin County Board of Adjustments, the Airport Authorities and the Bank of Aspen Board of Directors. John also was committed to the Aspen Rotary Club. John loved all sports, but especially enjoyed golf. He and Bette also have a residence in Carefree, Ariz., and were avid golfers.

Oakes will be remembered at Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church in Carefree, Ariz., on Wednesday, April 23. The family is planning an additional memorial and burial service in Aspen this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the charity of your choice.


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