Obituary: Donald Oaks dies at 63Donald Timothy Oaks, a Coast Side horticulture professional who grew up in and around Portola Valley, died Saturday, July 7, in the company of his lifetime partner Jan Engel at his home in Half Moon Bay, relatives said. Mr. Oaks was 63.
Mr. Oaks lived in Los Trancos Woods and Vista Verde as a youth, attended Portola School and Woodside High School, served as an acolyte at Christ Episcopal Church, and pursued his interests in forestry and livestock through the local 4H Club and the California Forestry Service, relatives said.
He served in the U.S. Army as a chaplain's assistant in Alaska and later graduated with a degree in horticulture from San Luis Obispo State University.
When he wasn't working, Mr. Oaks enjoyed exploring wilderness areas in the mountains and deserts of Mexico and the West, the family said.
With Ms. Engel, Mr. Oaks is survived by his mother Beverly Oaks; and sisters Patricia Naylor, Marilyn Smith, and Virginia Oaks. His "lively wit, intellect and great jokes will be remembered and cherished by his family and friends," relatives said.