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I don't know if anyone will see this, but I never got the chance to tell Mr. Oakley what a difference he made to me, so I want to at least try to tell his family. I was in one of the All-State choirs he directed 17 years ago, so he wouldn't remember me personally, but I remember him. He told us during those intensive rehearsals that, even if we forgot everything else he taught us, he wanted us to

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Posted by: Karena Potter - Raleigh, NC - Student   Jul 07, 2016

I first met Paul many years ago when he was a student at Friends University in Wichita, KS. He was one of the most brilliant organists and musicians that I have ever known. The world may have lost one of their great artists, but heaven is a little richer with their newest angel. My sympathies to the family - may God's peace be with you.

Posted by: Steve Cumming - Friend   Mar 16, 2013

In the 80's, I was the proud mom of two daughters who were lucky enough to be Kirksingers at First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL. Paul created the most wonderful choir who sang the most extraordinary pieces. Their version of eight part Doxology was breathtaking. What I remember most, when Paul needed more emotion, he would tell them "they weren't Baptist enough". The world has been blessed with his presence.

Posted by: Nancy Legg Buedel - Bradenton, FL - Friend   Dec 20, 2012

Rest in Peace, You have inspired and pleases so many with your love for music. Your work will never be forgotten and will be in the hearts of many

Posted by: Marcia DeVoe - Mooresville, NC - parent of student   Dec 08, 2012

Dear Oakley Family

I was saddened to hear of Paul's death. I was a good friend of Michelle's and remember going to Grosse Pointe Park Baptist Church when Dr. Oakley was Pastor there, many many years ago. One of my fondest memories of Paul was of him trying to teach me the alto part of "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" when I was in 3rd or 4th grade.

Blessings to all of you. I think of you often.

Pam Jurado

Posted by: Pam Jurado - Warren, MI - Friend   Dec 06, 2012

Our family has such fond memories of Paul when he was choir director at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield in the '80's. Our son was in the youth choir and learned an immense amount of musical ability from Paul.
We were saddened to learn of his death at such a young age.

Posted by: Susan - Springfield, IL - friend   Dec 04, 2012

Our family grieves as yours does. Paul was a wonderful colleague and we will miss him. May God bless your family in your time of grieving.

Posted by: david schonborg - EASTCHESTER NY, NY - MEMBER OF BRONXVILLE REFORM CHRC   Dec 02, 2012

My deepest condolences to the Paul's family and friends. He was a gifted musician and teacher, and I grew to love him, deeply, as a friend. May God's loving hand guide and keep you.

Jocelyn Pharr Thompson

Posted by: Jocelyn Thompson - Charlotte, NC - music colleague   Nov 30, 2012

Dear Oakley family.

I feel,I have been blessed,in knowing a wonderful person,as Paul. Paul, will certainly be remembered with great fondness and joy by not only me,but by many.
Sharing your sadness and praying God, will comfort you with sweet memories of Paul,and of the good life he lived and shared with others.

In Christian Sympathy,

Pamela Mallard Williams
Friend;Member of the First Presbyterian Church, Kinston, N.C.

Posted by: Pamela Mallard Williams - Friend   Nov 30, 2012

I was a high school student in one of Paul's choirs back in the 1980s at First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, IL. Almost 30 years later, I still remember and treasure my time under Paul's choral direction. He had a tremendous impact on my young life; giving me the gift of music and a home in his choir during my high school years. In his short time on this earth, Paul made such a difference for countless people whose lives

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Posted by: Chandra Gravit - Student   Nov 28, 2012