Kenneth Wayne Oakley, age 83, of Benton, passed away at 8:50 a.m. Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the VA Medical Center of Marion.
Celebration of Life Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 3, 2021, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Alan Stewart officiating. Burial with Military Honors by the Benton American Legion Post#280, V.F.W. Post#2671, and the Army National Guard; will be at the Shiloh Cemetery of Whittington. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 3, 2021, at the Leffler Funeral Home.
The Royal Order of Jesters will have a walk through at 11:47 a.m. on Saturday, with a Shrine walk through to follow. Masonic Rites will be conducted at 12:00 noon on Saturday, at the Leffler Funeral Home.
Kenneth was born on June 14, 1938, in Hopkins County, Kentucky, the son of Oscar Oakley and Emma (Jones) Oakley. He married the former Joyce Elaine (Martin) Erwin on May 15,1993 and she survives.
Kenneth served his country in the U.S. Army, where he was a MP, attaining the rank of Corporal/SP4.
He formerly worked in Mining Supplies as a salesman. He would later work for the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center, transporting juveniles to their court dates. After working for the Juvenile Detention Center, Kenny would become a Bailiff at the Franklin County Courthouse.
Kenneth was very active in the Masonic Fraternity having become a Master Mason with the Slaughters Lodge #347 A.F. & A.M. of Slaughters, Kentucky, and he was an Honorary Member of Benton Lodge #64 A.F. & A.M. of Benton, Illinois. He was also a 32nd Degree Mason and MSA Benefactor of the Scottish Rites Bodies of the Valley of Southern Illinois of Belleville, Illinois. Ken was also a Shriner where he attained the title of Ambassador Emeritus of the Ainad Temple of the Shrine; Royal Order of Jesters, and he was a member of the Ainad Legion of Honor.
He enjoyed being with his family, visiting with his neighbors, gardening, fishing and taking road trips to some of his favorite eating places. Most of all he enjoyed his visits from his great-grandsons, and taking them to feed the neighbors chickens.
Kenneth is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Joyce Oakley of Benton; his daughter Kendra Johnson and husband Billy of Madisonville, KY; Joyce’s children: Curt Erwin and wife Peggy, Linda Smith, and Brenda Zimmerman, all of Benton; grandchildren: Natasha Shanks, Skyler Johnson, Benjamin Erwin, Lucas Erwin, Kelsey Drew, Amber Robey, Matt Zimmerman, and Tyler Zimmerman; great-grandchildren: Axton Drew, Calin Drew, Elijah Zimmerman, Elaina Zimmerman, Xavier Zimmerman, Knox Robey, and Waylon Shanks; and several nieces and nephews; and his many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, a brother, and a son-in-law Curtis Smith.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children; and will be accepted at the funeral home.
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