Rock E. Oakeson

1953 ~ 2022

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Please click on the "Listen to Previously Recorded Services" to listen to "The Plum Tree", composed and performed by Rock Oakeson.

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Rock E. Oakeson was born on December 17, 1953 and suddenly passed away on September 27, 2022 in Eugene, OR.
Rock was born on December 17, 1953 to Russ Willard and Pearl Wardle Oakeson in Salt Lake City, UT.

He graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1972. He went on to graduate summa cum laude in music composition from Brigham Young University.
Rock served a mission for 2 years in Sapporo Japan and also taught English to the Japanese people.

He loved writing for magazines, composing music, teaching, being a pianist for the Presbyterian Church, Mormon Youth Symphony, Greek Orthodox Church and Salt Lake City Men’s choir.

Rock met his partner Kory Park on December 4th, 2004 and has been by his side ever since. They enjoyed traveling and their favorite places were Alaska and Sedona, AZ., walking their dogs, cooking and trying new recipes, attending concerts and shows.

He is survived by his partner Kory, brother Dee (Lisa) Oakeson, sister JoAnn (Steve) McIntyre, and his 7 nieces and nephews, Jodie (Ira), Kellie (Joel), Justin (Laurel), Jamie (Cameron), Casey (Jennifer), Katie (Beau), Megan. Preceded in death by his father and mother, Russ and Pearl Oakeson.

A graveside service in honor of Rock will be held at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, UT. A private visitation for the family will be held from 11:00 - 11:30 am prior to the services.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Midvale Jr. High Music Department, Hillcrest High Music Department or a local school music department of your choice.


Very sad news. Sorry for your loss Kory. Rock always had a special place in the hearts of Jeri and I. Rest in peace comrade!

- Tom Freeman

I didn’t get to spend enough time with Rock! When I did get to talk and laugh with him, his sense of humor and his humility were overwhelming!
The world will not be the same without his brilliance, but I can find comfort in being able to listen to all of his music when I need him!

- Susan Stewart

What a loss to have a Rockless world. Such a shock. Rock was the most broadly intelligent, interesting, talented, clever, fun person I think I've ever met. We have memories from college days, piano lessons, music adventures, and dinner parties many years ago. How I wish we could have seen you in recent years, Rock! Keeping up with you to a degree online was a little consolation. You'll be deeply missed by many. Godspeed.

- Joanie Cole

My deepest condolences to his family. We'll miss his funny quotes about his students. He was a very special person to a lot of us. RIP Rock.

- Terry Smith

Our condolences to Kory and Oakeson family at this passing of such a great man! I went all through school with Rock and always enjoyed his talent and friendship. He will be missed by all!

- Brent & Denise Smart

I always thought Rock was one of the most genuine and brightest person I ever know. I always enjoyed his post and insight that he portrayed. He will sorely be missed…
God bless him and his family and friends

- Kevin Money

You will be sorely missed Rock. You were the light of Facebook. Such a fun guy and friend. We will never forget to impact you had on our young lives as you made us smile every time we say you hanging out with our brother. Rest in peace and condolences to your loved ones.

- Paula

My heart hurts. Rock has been such a good friend for the last 4 decades. We were just exchanging emails a few weeks ago. I am so surprised and shocked.

My heart reaches out to Kory and their families. I am serving a mission in Japan so I am not able to get to Utah for the graveside service. The best I can do at the moment is to send my heartfelt condolences and offer my prayers for him and the family. Rock is missed already! May God's love and peace be with the family during this time of sad loss. My heart and love is with you and Rock.

- Graham Doxey

I am so sorry to hear of Rock's passing. We served an LDS Mission together in Sapporo. He is so talented and everyone in the Sapporo mission respected and loved him. We pray for the family at this time of sorrow.

- Richard Warner

I just found out of Rock’s passing and I am beyond sad! He sent me an email saying he wasn’t feeling good the day before to cancel my piano lesson. What a wonderful man and I so enjoyed talking with him during my lessons. He was a great piano instructor…extremely patient. I will surely miss him.

- Annette Newingham

I am absolutely speechless. I was planning to ask Rock if it’d be alright for me to visit next Spring, but now I am too late.

My heart goes out to Kory and family. It is much too soon for us to lose such a beloved friend and teacher. Thank you for touching all of our hearts and lives, and thank you for your dedication to ascend with all of us. You will sorely be missed.

- Kris Jen

There is profound sadness that I have only known Rock for a few years and also joy in meeting him at all. I had hoped for more time. My condolences to Kory, friends, and family.

- Heather Averett

I cannot express how deeply heartbroken I am to learn that one of my favorite people in the whole world is no longer with us. I will miss you, dearest Rockstar.

- Shonna Butler

We are SO sorry for your loss. God Bless. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you, Suzy and Jerry.

- Jearold Wayne Yack

I was very shocked and saddened by hearing of Rock's passing . He taught piano lessons to my kids and played at my daughter's wedding this last December (His playing was wonderful of coarse) .I always sat in on the piano lessons just to hear his wisdom . I always felt a wiser man just by being around him. My family adored Rock . Our world has lost one of the finest human beings I have ever met , I have often said he one the most favorite people in my life I have ever had the pleasure of meeting . I wish I could have had one more piano lesson , one more hour , one more enlightening conversation with Rock . I don't think he realized the good and positive impact he had on our family . I pray we can talk again my friend. Tim Selander

- Tim Selander

We didn’t know Rock personally but the world has lost a very talented, accomplished man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. JoAnn, Steve and family, we are so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful soul who served so many through his music. May his memory be eternal. 🙏❤️🙏

- James & Candace Karpakis

I send my love and sympathy to Kory and all of your family. I would like to address Rock directly.

As we served our missions together, Elder, I was literally blown away by your brilliance, kindness, joy, and of course your music. At zone Conferences, you brightened the whole day as you sat at the piano and flawlessly played whatever song we requested with no problem!

After our missions, you kindly invited me to your Senior Recital at BYU-so absolutely creative and fun as on one number, literally every part of the piano was used!

As the years passed, and we kept in touch through Facebook, I was again and again impressed by your analytical and logical mind. One time i commented that you were too logical and conservative to live in Oregon! You simply replied that someone had to offer a voice of reason in that beautiful state.

Rock, I will miss you. The world is a better place in so many ways because you were in it. I also know that this life is not the end of our existence. I look forward to seeing you where the Angel choirs and orchestras will be performing your music in glorious praises to God! I would say rest in peace, but I know you’re too busy doing great things!

Doyle Mortimer

- Doyle Mortimer

I am so sorry for your loss. I went to school with Rock. I remember his love of music and his fun spirit.

- Diana Cramer

I only know Rock for about a year. I was a new student of his for lessons at his house. I had played before, only mentored by my beloved grandmother.

I had lost interest for over a decade in the piano. I had simply obtained other hobbies and passions. But after finally committing to learning the piano again, I found Rock. He was a great fit for my personality and moral. I even brought him some of my home made baked goods a few months ago and introduced him to my fiancé.

He inspired me to play a piece at our wedding and even helped me with the skills to play it better. That's just something that can't be overlooked. He has helped make a life long memory and an impression that will last for a long long time. Rock was a wonderful man and even though I only knew him as a teacher, I could feel the passion that he had. If I can be half the person I saw him as, I too could make a good mark on the world.

- Ray Lingenfelter

Dear Rock, Thank you for always being my friend, and for showing up randomly throughout my life. You gave me more nicknames than anyone ever did….LOL. Yes, some of your advice was pretty good. 😊 I will miss just knowing you are as close as the telephone.
Remember the fun and interesting gathering at my home in Taylorsville, back in the 80’s? It really makes me laugh when I think of it. I also laugh when I think about our “Howdy Neighbor” conversation.
Thank you for saving a spot for me on your piano lesson schedule; I will always feel sad that I wasn’t able to have that particular experience with you - I know it would have been a blast!
Til we meet again my dear friend,

- Donna (White) Norman

What a special and unique person Rock was! His talent ran the gamut from music to writing with wit and humor. Rock enjoyed life and gave of himself wherever he lived or worked. I am so happy that he had these last few years with Kory in Oregon. I think that was heaven for Rock.

Shalom aleichem.


- Sheila Page

Rock I love you... RIP

- Brandon Bramlage

“Deepest condolences to Kory and the family for your loss.”

- Dan Hodges

SO shocked to hear this news just today. Prayers for you Kory, and all Rock's family. We met in Denton, TX when Rock was at North Texas State and my husband at the time, Kelly Roth, and I were teaching dance at TWU. We were fast friends, and made many amazing pieces together with Rock's music, and I was honored to be able to get back together with him in 2015 once again to put his music to a piece of mine. To echo others, Rock was an amazing human being, laughing was a given when you were in his presence, I am grateful for his long-time friendship, grateful to have met you, Kory, and to know that we will see each other again. Lovingly, Leslie J. Roth

- Leslie J Roth

I send my condolences. Rock was one of the most talented musicians I have ever heard. We served in the same mission in Japan together. If you hummed a few bars of any tune he could recreate it beautifully. He will be forever remembered.

- Duane Criddle

Rock and I shared an office when we were doctoral music students at North Texas State around ‘81-‘84. I always enjoyed his humor and wry sarcasm. Plus he was a darned fine musician. Miss you.

- Robert K.

You said he would come to Japan next year, so I was looking forward to it. But I can't see you anymore you were a wonderful person I will always be your friend

- Chieko Hosaka (zahid)