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William R. “Russ” Oaks, 64, passed away unexpectedly Aug. 16, 2023, at home in Andersonville. He was born in Knoxville, and was preceded in death by his parents, William “Bill” Oaks and Robinette Catherine Kesley Oaks. Russ grew up in Halls. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1981, and was commissioned as an Armor Officer in the U.S. Army. His duty posts included Fort Hood; Fort Knox; Headquarters, US Army, Europe in Germany; Fort Leavenworth; Fort Stewart; and the Pentagon. During his time at Fort Stewart, he was deployed to Kuwait twice. He retired as a Lt. Colonel after 20 years of service to his country. After his retirement in 2001, he accepted a position with Knox County Schools. He served in several jobs culminating with Chief Operating Officer. He retired in 2022. Russ was a rock for his family, his friends, and his colleagues. He was described as reserved, reliable, responsible, supportive, a problem solver, kind, generous, a good leader, pragmatic, and inspired those qualities in others. He was steadfast. In his retirement he rekindled a hobby from his high school days, Ham radio. He also enjoyed woodworking, repairing anything around the house (he was usually successful), and genealogy. He had recently become involved with the Union County Cemetery Association as several of his ancestors are interred in that county. He is survived by: Wife of 33 years, Teri; son Will; three brothers, Randy (Jo Dell), Michael, and David (Allison); niece, Rebekah; and nephew Jeffrey; and numerous cousins in the Knoxville area and Florida. The family will receive friends from 4 – 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, at Mynatt Funeral Home, Halls Chapel with a celebration of life to follow. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to Anderson County High School Band, Clinton, TN which Will was a member of for four years, or your favorite organization/charity. Online condolences may be sent to