Robert Ernest Wakefield
November 7, 1940 - October 30, 2019
Robert (Bob) Wakefield peacefully passed away at home on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.
Robert Ernest Wakefield was born November 7, 1940, to Ernest and Lattie Wakefield in Water Valley, Mississippi.
Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sonja Flesland Wakefield; daughter, Mandi Wakefield; son, Brett and wife, Carie Wakefield; grandsons, Mason and Braden Wakefield; as well as multiple nieces, nephews, and their spouses.
Preceding him in death are his son, Thad; his parents, Ernest and Lattie Wakefield; and sisters, Martha, Margie and Sue.
Bob grew up coon hunting with his father and picking cotton with the family. In school, he excelled at most sports and worked part-time at a roller rink. At age 15, the family moved to Jefferson, Oregon to be near his sisters. Bob said the girls just loved his southern accent. Once again, Bob excelled in sports. He held the high jump record for many years. Upon graduation in 1959, he continued working at the service station that was part-time as he attended school.
In 1961, Bob headed to California to join the Marine Corps in Oceanside. He served in the tank division. His unit sailed to Cuba (Bay of Pigs) and they did a tour in Vietnam. He was always proud to have been a Marine.
After he returned from Vietnam, he met his future wife, Sonja. She thought he was the nicest, sweetest guy she had ever met. So, when he asked, she said yes. They were married on November 8, 1964.
Upon his discharge in 1965, they traveled to Jefferson, Oregon. Sonja was impressed with his family and Oregon’s beautiful weather (warm enough for family picnics in March). After a visit to Minnesota, Sonja’s home state, it snowed. They decided to return to Oregon and raise a family.
They bought a home in Jefferson. Bob had many employments while there: Willamette Industries, Contractor in Reforestry, and leased two service stations (one in Jefferson, then one in Albany). After working with a contractor building homes, he obtained a contractor’s license. He then worked for Hamby’s Realty, building homes and maintaining Hamby’s rentals. He officially retired in 2018.
In 1971, Bob and Sonja purchased two acres of “God’s Little Green Acres” in the Dever Conner area. They agreed that country living was a great way to raise their family.
Bob played softball in the Jefferson Parks League. Later on, the family played softball in an Albany Church League and a Jefferson Parks League.
Then their son, Thad, introduced the family to bowling. Our family and Bob’s two sisters formed a team at AMF. Bob enjoyed fishing and all the family pinochle parties, but he loved bowling and went to many tournaments for years. Bob and Sonja continued bowling at Lakeshore Lanes.
Bob will be missed by family and the many friends he has made over the years.
A graveside service will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6 at Willamette Memorial Park. All are invited to attend.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com)
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