Obituary: Patricia Ann Oakes, 86

by | May 22, 2024

Known for her kindness, sense of humor, and good-natured, outgoing personality, Pat was a joy to be around

From the Hill Funeral Home website

Patricia Ann Oakes, age 86, passed away on Monday, May 20, in Johnston, after living several years with a dementia-related condition.

Pat was born and raised in Albany, New York. The youngest of three children and the only girl, she was the apple of her father’s eye, and a loving and constant companion to her brothers.  Her competitive spirit came out in many ways, whether as the jacks and checkers champion of the local playground, on softball and other sports teams at Albany Academy for Girls, and even later in life as a Cub Scout leader who could knock the ball out of the park during the scout games.

After high school, Pat worked for the Bell Telephone Company until she met and married George Oakes and moved to Rhode Island, where they stayed for the remainder of their lives, settling in Potowomut. Together, they raised a family of five children along with many dogs. Pat was resourceful, finding ways to provide for a large family on a modest budget. Work stints as a factory worker (Leviton), a lunch aide, a food demo lady at PACE Warehouse, and as the de facto manager for the Oakes family paper route resulted in a comfortable life for all. Her example rubbed off on the Oakes children who inherited the work ethic of both of their parents and created a dedication to family that is evident in all their lives. In retirement, Pat and George wintered in Naples, Fla., where they were able to enjoy life in a beautiful climate and add to their circle of friends.

As a lifelong helper by her very nature, Pat volunteered at McCauley House in Providence for 30+ years, providing meals and clothing to those in need. Known for her kindness, sense of humor, and good-natured, outgoing personality, Pat was a joy to be around. She was a source of encouragement and inspiration to many as a supportive wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. In her later years, she provided the absolute best care to George until the end of his life.  When Pat came to need support, her family rallied around her to do the same for her.  As her support needs became greater, she moved to Briarcliffe, The Cottage, in 2021, where she lived until her passing.

Pat was predeceased by her parents (Margaret and Irving Fleishman), her brothers (Pete and Tony Fleishman), and her son-in-law (Steve Barlow). She is survived by five children – Kim Barlow, Carolyn Lukert (Mark), Tony Oakes (Laura), Cheryl Osborne (David), and Michael Oakes (Kelly), nine grandchildren (Jordan and Austin Barlow; Annie Shaffer; Ben, Aidan, Evan, and Ella Osborne; and Carson and Owen Oakes). She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Mickey and Anne Fleishman, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family gratefully thanks the staff of Briarcliffe and Continuum Hospice for the kind and loving support they provided to Pat. They became an extension of our family as we together supported Pat until the end of her life. Thanks also to the many friends who kept in frequent contact with Pat through cards and letters. Each and every communication was a source of comfort and connection. Pat truly felt the love.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, June 11, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich, Burial will be in private. Calling hours: Monday, June 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. in Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to McCauley House ( or to the Snow Approach Foundation ( to support a training center for care partners of people living with brain changing conditions.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 5/22/24

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