OAKLEY NICOLE TJADEN, of Grant, passed away Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Children's Hospital in Aurora, CO.
Oakley was born May 7, 2019, at Grant, Nebraska, to Casey and Nicole (Frerichs) Tjaden, the youngest of their four children. She was baptized on June 30, 2019 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Grant.
God works in magnificent ways, and Oakley's life exampled all the signs of His grace and goodness. Filled with life, joy, and vibrance, Oakley was walking sunshine. Everyone in the family wanted to pick her up and hold her or just be in her presence. She loved music and had her own little dances she would perform. Oakley's favorite animals were cows and puppies, though if you asked her about it, they were called "buppies." One of the Oakey's greatest joys was teasing her daddy. When he would say "Oakley, give me that paci, I'll put it in my pocket" she would hide it in her diaper or behind her back. Her heart-warming, ornery smile always won daddy over. Oakley rarely let Mommy get a full night's rest. She was always wanting to snuggle, chat or giggle with mommy when everyone else was sleeping. These late night moments with Oakley are now some of mommy's favorite memories.
Oakley had a goofy laugh that had a way of drawing out the laughter of others. She adored her siblings and was so happy growing up in their presence as if her place were always among them, and in a sense, it always will be. She, in turn, made their lives brighter. Porter enjoyed reading Oakley her favorite books and taking her on wagon rides. Parker loved being the first one to tell her good morning, getting her out of her crib, greeting her with hugs and kisses, and pulling her around the house on a blanket. Cora was proud to be named the big sister and enjoyed playing barbies and dolls with Oakley, as long as it was under Cora's terms. They also enjoyed playing outside together and riding in their electric Barbie car.
Oakley was indeed a ray of light we never knew we needed. People around her often described her as happy, a pure joy and an angel. While it is heartbreaking that her infectious smile is gone from our sight, we know that she has returned to the very source of love, grace, and goodness. Jesus said "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." God's grace is abounding and persistent, finding comfort and peace in all situations.
Oakley was preceded in death by her great grandparents, Gerald and Theone Kent, Erwin and Doris Frerichs, Frank and Lela Tjaden, Henry and Esther Smith, and a great-aunt, Marcia Frazier.
Survivors include her parents and siblings, Casey and Nicole, Porter, Parker, and Cora Tjaden, all of Grant; grandparents Mike and Marcia Frerichs of Grant and Roger and Bernita Tjaden of Madrid; aunts and uncles Ryan and Michaela Potts of Grant, Aron and Alicia Beck of Lincoln, Gayle and Terese Tjaden of Waverly, Kelly and Jill Tjaden of Conifer CO, Darin Tjaden of Madrid, Jennifer Tjaden of Madrid, and Shawn and Jenny Tjaden of Grant; 19 first cousins and countless friends and relatives.
A memorial has been established in Oakley's memory for later designation. Condolences may be shared at bullocklongfuneralhome.com, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.
Services will be on Monday, April 12, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Grant, with Pastor Pat Riley officiating. Interment will be in the Grant Fairview Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Sunday, from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant.