Chad Michael Oakes, 36, of rural Gentilly, MN, died Wednesday night, August 15, 2012, in an automobile accident that took place east of Crookston. Chad was born in Crookston, MN on July 7, 1976, one of two children of the union of Ricky and Lynn (Palmer) Oakes. He grew up in Crookston and attended Central High School. Chad lived in Crookston until 1996, when he moved to Colorado to live with his aunt and uncle, Becky and Larry Lowe, until 1997, when he returned to Crookston. On September 18, 2004, Chad married Melanie Rose Tiedemann at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Crookston. The two were blessed with the birth of their children, Ava Rose in 2005 and Keaton Lawrence in 2006, and the four made their home in Gentilly.
As a teen, Chad worked for Rick Oakes Masonry and Palmer Masonry as a concrete worker. In 2005, he was hired at HN Quality Plumbing until March of 2012. This past May, Chad was hired as an assembly worker at New Flyer in Crookston. Chad was a wonderful husband to Melanie and a loving father to Ava and Keaton, who were his pride and joy. He and Melanie did everything together, the two were inseparable. His children referred to him as the "strongest man in the world." Chad could often be found playing with his kids, checking out the most recent movies at the movie store, bow hunting, fishing in the Red Lake River, or enjoying his favorite meal from his mom, homemade burritos and German chocolate cake. He was also a longtime member of the Sons of American Legion in Crookston and a former member of the Central High School varsity wrestling team, of which he was very proud.
Loving family members include Melanie, Chad's loving wife of almost eight years; two children, Ava and Keaton; his parents, Ricky and Lynn Oakes; a sister, Leah Oakes (Kevin Crocker), and their son and Chad's godson, Kolton Crocker; grandparents, JoAnn and Larry Palmer, Loy "Whiskers" Johnson, and Arlene Page, all of Crookston. Chad also leaves his parents-in-law: Gale and Julie Tiedemann of Euclid; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ian and Jess Tiedemann, and their children, Shawn Murphy, Cole, Casey, and Max Tiedemann of Crookston; and Grandma Dorothy Tiedemann of Euclid. Chad was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Emery and Lenore Palmer, Bill and Myrtle Mulcahy, and Irvin and Fern Brunelle; and great-uncle, Master Chief Sergeant of the US Navy David Brunelle.
A funeral service celebrating Chad's life will take place Monday, August 20, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, with The Rev. Bill Reck, officiating. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston. A gathering of friends and family will be held at the American Legion in Crookston following the service The Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home of Crookston is assisting with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family. Online registry www.stenshoelhouske.com