ASHBURN, Va. (WWBT) - Family and friends of Adam Oakes gathered at Christian Fellowship in Ashburn to celebrate his life and lay him to rest.
Oakes was found dead in an off-campus house on Feb. 27. His family believes he was hazed during a party as part of his initiation into the Delta Chi fraternity.
The fraternity was suspended by VCU and the national organization. VCU is also conducting an independent review of Greek life in the wake of Adam’s death.
During the funeral service, several people talked about the memories and stories they shared with Adam.
Jimmy Norris, one of his friends, talked about the moment they met and how he helped him meet new people.
“Right when I start talking to him, he treated me like I’ve known him for years and just embraced me with one of his bear hugs,” said Norris. “After he hugged me, it changed my life.”
Ben Davis, another friend of Adam Oakes, talked about the kindness he shared with strangers.
“At my high school, there’s a girl crying, sitting on the floor in the hallway. Everyone walked by, just like nothing was going on. No one had the courage to go up to accompany her, but Adam did,” he said. “Adam sat right down next to her and cheered her up.”
Courtney White, Adam Oakes’ cousin, also talked about the love he shared with his friends and the devastating impact of his loss.
“The overwhelming earth-shattering sadness is indescribable. I can only hope that no one ever has to feel this type of pain in their lifetime,” White said. “There are so many things he never got to experience in life. Adam will never graduate college, start a career, fall in love, get married, or have a family of his own.”
A GoFundMe page created by one of Adam’s friends, Max Turner, raised more than $40,000 to help the family cover funeral costs.
White says the rest of the money will be used to help students in his hometown.
“We will be honoring Adam by setting up a scholarship fund in his name at Potomac Falls High School for seniors to assist with college expenses,” White said. “Our long-term goal is to start a nonprofit in Adam’s name to further educate kids on the transition to college life, including joining a fraternity or sorority.
As his loved ones continue to mourn Adam Oakes’ death, they promise to keep his memory alive by living like Adam.
Us, as a society, need to love and appreciate life the same way Adam did,” said Davis. “We need to look out for the people we love. We need to lift people’s spirits around us through positivity.”
After the funeral service, Adam Oakes was laid to rest at Chesnut Grove Cemetery.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.