Sister Delores Teresa Oakes, CSJ, longtime staff person at St. Anthony Park Home, died March 14 at the age of 82. “She loved everyone and everyone loved her,” said those who knew her best. “Doe,” an incredible friend to many, a stand-up comic, artist-photographer, teacher and “behind-the-scenes helper” to multitudes, was born in Minneapolis on Dec. 23, 1933, and died peacefully at Carondelet Village in St. Paul.
She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1951, earned a B.A. in sociology and elementary education from the College of St. Catherine in 1961, and completed an M.A. in education at the University of Minnesota in 1967.
She taught at St. Patrick’s and St. Luke’s in St. Paul, and Good Shepherd, Golden Valley, and was principal and taught at St. John’s and Holy Spirit (St. Paul). Students, teachers and parents appreciated her gift of dealing warmly and personally with them.
In 1978 she earned a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, Corpus Program, at Seattle University and became the administrator of Bethany Convent Nursing Home for the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1989, she became the director of social services at St. Anthony Park Home, where she continued to volunteer until her death. All who have visited or lived there have been grateful for the photos of residents she posted in the halls.
Working with the elderly and their families, she found that one of the great rewards of her job is the wisdom that the elderly offered her.
“I have lots of friends who are poor and I have lots of friends who are rich, and I tell the rich ones to share their goods,” she once said.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rayford Lorenze Oakes and Agnes Swanson; and her brothers, Chuck and Jim. She is survived by her brothers, Tom (Kathy) and Terry (Connie); sisters-in-law, Doris and Clare; and many colleagues and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 21 at Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel in St. Paul, with burial at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights.