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William D. (Sonny) Oates

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
William D. (Sonny) Oates

William D. (Sonny) Oates, a long-time Dallas businessman, passed away at his home in Dallas on July 23, 2021. Sonny was born in Loop on January 24, 1941. He graduated from the University of North Texas and began his career in Rochester, New York, with Eastman Kodak. He subsequently went on to establish a number of successful businesses across Texas, as well as nationally and internationally.

While known for his love of doing business, he was best known for his loyal dedication to his employees and countless friends. He also treasured the time he was able to spend at his ranch that he considered to be a little slice of Heaven. Sonny was an amazing man with a quiet kindness and a gentle nature. He is survived by Marilyn Vance Oates, his wife of 51 years whom he lovingly called Sally, son William Hunter Oates, brother David Oates and wife Joy and nieces Stephanie Lanford and Stacey Carter.

A funeral service was held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 W Northwest Hwy, Dallas, Texas. Honorary pallbearers were Jerry Cobb, Michael Crosno, Roy Evans, Don Faulkenberry, Kevin Harvell, Mike Maune, Pete Schenkel, John Sterling, Bill Whiting, John Woolf and John Yeaman.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 39105 or at; Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, 2222 Wellborn St., 76219 or at; or Children’s Medical Center Dallas, 2777 N. Stemmons Fwy., Dallas, TX, 75207 or at Online condolences can be made at