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Robert Carson Oakley, Sr. November 6, 1927 - May 19, 2023

Born: Sunday Nov 6, 1927

Died: Friday May 19, 2023

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Robert Carson Oakley, Sr., 95, passed away Friday, May 19, 2023 at UNC Health Care and Nursing Center.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday *(May 31st* next Wednesday) at the Spray United Methodist Church, 803 Morgan Road, at 10:00 am with Military Honors to follow at Ridgeview Memorial Gardens.  Per Carson’s wishes, a breakfast will be served in the fellowship hall prior to the service from 8:30-9:45am.

Robert Carson Oakley, Sr., better known as Carson, born in Danville, VA, on November 6, 1927 to the late Robert M. Oakley and Bessie Haraway Oakley. Raised in Providence, NC, Caswell County, he attended Cobb Memorial High School, a graduate of Lees McRae College, Banner Elk, NC.  After college, employed by Dan River Mill as Supervisor from 1947 to 1950 in the Sheeting Department.  He worked from February 1950 to May 1, 1990 at Fieldcrest Mills in Eden, NC.   Carson served in the US Army from October 1950 to October 1952 and was in the 43rd MP Co being discharged as Staff Sergeant.  Returning to NC, Carson served as various Department Heads with the last 20 years as Superintendent of Dyeing and Finishing area of the blanket division before retirement.  Mr. Oakley was an avid bird hunter, golfer, woodworker and volunteer helping others.  He led many work missions to repair homes and churches that were damaged in floods and storms.  He took teams to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky or anywhere needed.  He was an active member in his earlier years with the Cherokee Council Boy Scouts, also a member of the Spray United Methodist Church where he held many jobs as a Lay Leader and all other committees and chairmanship.  He taught Sunday School for many years and was a Certified Lay Speaker for the Western NC Methodist Conference.  He also served on various Northeast United Methodist District Committees.  He was very active in the Hispanic Community and Church.  Carson served on the Steering Committee to establish the “Upper Room Dan River Emmaus Community in Danville, VA.  He was also involved in Kairos prison ministry in Virginia, going to the State Prison taking the Word of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ to the prisoners.  Mr. Oakley believed the gospel in Matthew 25 and tried to live as Jesus Christ had called him to do.  He was also known by many as the “Cross Man” where he had made over 6,000 small walnut crosses.  These crosses were sent all over the world as part of this witness for Jesus Christ.

Left to cherish his memories are three sons, Robert (Sue) C Oakley, Jr., William (Nancy) Oakley, Thomas (Reena) Oakley; daughter Sharon Ann (Ed) Price; grandchildren, Heather (Kevin) Barker, Grady (Patricia) Price, III, Will Price; great grandchildren, Cody Barker, Levi Barker, Grady Price, IV, Maggie Price; numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Jo Ann Ballard Oakley and brother Louie Oakley.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Spray United Methodist Church, PO Box 690, Eden, NC  27289; St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105; Kairos Prison, Buckingham Correctional, VA-20, Dillwyn, VA 23936

Online condolences may be offered to the family at

My grief is overwhelming.  I truly loved this man. Much love and prayers for family. 

Kim Woodall

Sending our condelences. We will miss Carson so much . We know that he was ready to go to a far better place


So sorry to hear about Carson passing. He was a fine man. I always loved Carson and Jo. They were a sweet couple great examples of Christianity. He will be missed.

Carol Beasley

Carson was like a Dad to Ash and I. The memories we have with him will never leave our heart's. Our fellowship around the table with his favorite foods ,  so many moments of his company we'll cherish for now and we'll keep looking ahead till we meet again for eternity. We send our condolences to his precious family He loves so much.. He's finally home. 

Don and Paula Ashworth

Carson was one of my all-time, favorite people!  His  smle would light up a room and his praises with lifted hands were inspiring and genuine.  Carson served faithfully at our Kairos Green Rock (prison ministry) and obediently shared the gospel to the inmates. I have one of his crosses and it is treasured

Shirley E Hammond; and John (Bucky) Hammond

My late husband, Cliff, served on many Emmaus Walks with Carson.  We thought so much of Carson & Jo.  Sending love to his family as he leaves a void in Emmaus.

Judy Hodnett

Heather, Kevin, and family,

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. Please know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Love in Christ,

Mark and Carolyn Young and Family

Mark and Carolyn Young
Worked with Carson at the Fieldcrest Blanket Finishing Mill. 
Admired the way he defended his workers. Also admired the work he did for missions to repair homes & churches. Sent him a poem when his wife Jo passed away. He called to express his appreciation for the card and he spoke of her and his family very lovingly. Our deepest sympathy, Jackie & Sam Wall
Sam & Jackie Wall

So sorry to hear about Carson. He was a wonderful Godly man and MYBUDDY!  He will be greatly missed at Ocean Lakes!  We know he is jumping and running and young again and with his Jo!  Deepest sympathy to the family. Prayers and hugs for ya all!

Dawn McQueen

Praying for comfort and peace during this difficult time. My daughter Heather (Shores) loved Carson and Jo so much.

Melissa Wetherholt

My prayers are with family with passing of Carson who was such an great man and got to know him by teaming with him on Kairos Prison Team and being at same table with him several times, know he will be greatly missed, but is gone on to be with the Lord.

Glenn Hancock

Carson was our treasured neighbor just across the street here at Ocean Lakes.  He was such a positive influence with all who met and knew him.  We loved his sense of humor and love of Jesus and sharing good food  with one another.  A true Southern gentleman will be missed until we meet again. 

Rodney & Amy Young
We send our deepest condolences to all the Oakleys.  Although Carson's passing is an immeasurable loss, his legacy is equally immeasurable. For those of us who loved him, there is consolation in knowing that he is now resting from his labors "in a place of refreshment, light, and peace."  What a blessing he was to our family! What a privilege to call him "dear friend!" Such an exemplary Christian life!  Truly delighting in serving our Lord, Carson used his talents to glorify God. Once gracing my parents' home and now offering inspiration to me, his small walnut Cross (among several other treasures) serves as his lasting legacy, along with decades of sweet memories. 
     "Well done, good and faithful servant."
         -------St. Matthew 25:23
Martha Groseclose Kolling

To Carson's family:

Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with us.  From the first time we met him, playing mini golf at the beach, we knew he was special. A kind word for everyone he met, friend, or just not a friend yet.  He always saw the good in people.  

He loved showing us around and of course taking us to all his favorite eating places. We enjoyed playing Phase 10 or just visiting with him.

When my mom came to live with us, it was like he'd known her all along. That's how he was. He made people feel comfortable. 

We sure did love that man and he'll be in our hearts forever. 

You all learned well from Carson.  What a beautiful family you are. We feel blessed to have known Carson,  and through him, you.

Good bless.

Vicki and Bert Beames

Dear sweet Heather and family......I just saw this and wanted to let you know I am very sorry for your loss!!! You all are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless!!! 

Micki Neal

Bobby, Billy, Tommy and Sharon Ann: having known you during our time at Spray and being in MYF with you, I was blest to have known your parents. What a wonderful heritage you have! I am sorry for your loss. The world becomes a different place when your parents have gone on to heaven. All of you will be in my prayers.

Tim Pheagin
Our condolences to the Oakley family. What a testimony to a life well lived! We are so glad we got to visit him at the nursing center. Our prayers continue for his family that he loved so much.
Myra & HC Phillips
Myra Phillips

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