John F. Oatley Jr.

John F. Oatley Jr. of Eaton Rapids, slipped into the arms of Jesus on October 28, 2021. He was born March 8, 1956, on his parent’s 1st anniversary. A very loving, caring Christian man who was always there for anyone who needed help. He graduated from Harry Hill High School in Lansing and joined the Marine Corp. John loved this country and was a proud Marine. He married Sonja Higbie in 1981 and was a great father to her two daughters. They just celebrated their 40th anniversary. Famous for his skills on the outdoor grill, he and Sonja had many BBQ’s for family and friends. He loved antiquing and adding to his many collections. In love with the 50’s, they had a diner built onto their kitchen and had it decorated beautifully with an art deco soda fountain he bought from a New Jersey drug store. His hobbies were slot car racing and was a member of the CCRL Racing Club, flying model planes and helicopters. John had many friends and was always laughing and having a great time whenever he was with them.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Helene Katrine Oatley and his daughter, Shannon McManus Sharp. Surviving is his loving wife, Sonja; father, John Oatley Sr. of Holt; daughter, Melissa “Missy” (Jimmy) Scott of Eaton Rapids; grandchildren, Travis (Melissa) Burgess of NY, Jessie (Steve) Foley of Eaton Rapids, Faith Sharp of Monroe, LA, Brendan Sharp of Eaton Rapids; great grandchildren, Mick, Silas, Axel, and little Maggie Mae Foley who is due any day now, all from Eaton Rapids, Henry and Walt Burgess of NY; sister, Brenda (Tom) Cuatt of Springport and brothers, David Oatley of Mason, Brian (Karen) Oatley of Eaton Rapids, Dean (Carleen) Oatley of AL; many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will take place in the spring with military honors. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Family, Shelly-Odell Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Church of the Nazarene. To leave online condolences for the family please visit our website,