TENANTS HARBOR — Charles (Charlie) Oakes of Tenants Harbor passed away peacefully in his home on Aug. 16, after a long illness, surrounded by loved ones. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Somerville  and Wellesley, Massachusetts, graduating from Wellesley High School in 1949.

After several years traveling and working in California, Charlie joined the Air Force during the Korean War and served as a military air transport flight engineer, maintaining the planes transporting wounded to medical facilities in Texas.

After his discharge, he returned to Wellesley while he attended and graduated from Boston University. He married his fellow WHS graduate, Barbara Murtagh Dolliff, in Nov. of 1954. After several years of working in Connecticut for Pratt and Whitney, he and Barbara returned to the Boston area where he became a custom’s broker and began working for his in-laws at Dolliff & Company, import, export, and freight forwarders, in Boston. He and Barbara bought their first home in Natick, Massachusetts, and eventually moved back to Wellesley where they raised their daughter Dale Ellen and son Leroy David.

Eventually, Charlie and his business partner and co-worker at Dolliff and Company, Donald Eldridge, purchased the business, expanding it to include Hebden Mckenzie Transport Inc. which they ran together until his retirement at age 62. He and Don left the two companies in the capable hands of Don’s sons Stuart and Bruce Eldridge who continue to run them today. In the course of his business, he had the opportunity to work with Ocean Management Services arranging the transport of equipment to clean up the Atlantic Empress oil spill off Trinidad and Tobago in 1979.

After retirement, Charlie and Barbara moved to Tenants Harbor and enjoyed their time together until Barbara passed in 1999, just short of their 45th wedding anniversary. A few years later, Charlie was very fortunate to meet Merilyn Littlefield of Camden who shared his love of camping and historical re-enacting, and was his loving companion, enjoying his company and caring for him devotedly until the end of his life.

A man of many interests, Charlie loved books, lobstering in his retirement and dropping his bounty off to many happy friends, music, boating, and most of all, living history reenacting. For many years he immersed himself in the history and skills of the French and Indian War through the Fur Trade-era. He belonged to the Sudbury Militia, the Wachusett Mountain Men, and the Ancient Ones of Maine, enjoying countless “shining times” camping with his friends and educating the public on the history of our country at numerous events. He was a master craftsman of replica muzzle-loading firearms and built many beautiful pieces over the years that have been well-used and treasured by those lucky enough to obtain one.

A Mason and Shriner for most of his life, Charlie’s membership in the Eureka Lodge #84 in Tenants Harbor brought him much joy and brotherhood. His daughter Dale’s family was privileged to help out at several of the summer pig roasts where his grandchildren had a ball serving delicious meals in the company of their grandfather and his Masonic brothers.

Charlie was predeceased by his wife Barbara Dolliff Oakes. He is survived by his companion of many years, Merilyn Littlefield, his daughter Dale Hickey of Sandwich Mass., and her husband Tom, his son Roy Oakes of Marietta Ga. and his companion Heather Gailey, his brother John Oakes and wife Kim of Charlton Mass., and his sister Cynthia Malcolm of Boston. He was the beloved grandfather of Stephen Hickey and his wife Rochelle of Framingham Mass., Jonathan Hickey and his wife Meagan of Haverhill Mass., Lauren Bonner, and her husband Dillon of Saco, Maine, his great-grandson Roland Hickey of Framingham, and the soon-to-be born baby Bonner of Saco, Maine.

A celebration of life will be held in the Wing Boathouse at the Sail Power & Steam Museum, 75 Mechanic St., Rockland, Maine on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 12:00 p.m., where Charlie enjoyed many Sunday afternoons playing and listening to music with Merilyn. Please join us for this casual event if you are able and share your stories and memories of Charlie while we enjoy some food and drink in his honor on the Maine waterfront that he loved.

Instead of flowers, the family would welcome donations to the museum in his honor. We would also like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who reached out to Charlie by phone and with visits in his final days. The happiness you brought meant the world to him. We are forever grateful for your kindness.

Hall’s Funeral and Cremation Services, 78 Main St., Thomaston has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences to Charlie’s family visit his Book of Memories at hallfuneralhomes.com.