Jennifer Nichole Douglas, beloved wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend, gentle teacher, peacemaker, and woman of faith is gone too soon. She was a light to all around her and could easily please her large family with her homemade goodies. She had a sweet spirit, loved unconditionally and brought joy to all who knew her. To know Jennifer was to love her and this world will never be the same without her.
Jennifer is survived by a large family who love and miss her: husband Cole, four sons: Brennan, Branton, Brody and Braddock, parents Darrell & Devona Oakley, four sisters: Jessica (Ryan) Coleman, Krista (Justin) Prindle, Kayla (Brett) Skiles, Michelle (Clancy) Leibham, 13 nieces and nephews: Kinley, Kate, Rachel, Jaxon, Tegan, Noah, Jordyn, Ethan, Tatum, Jude, Truitt, Judah and Jasmine and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Jennifer was preceded in death by her only brother, Josh Oakley, grandparents: Darrell Oakley Sr., Eleanor Oakley Rankin, and Duane & Donna Earles.
Jennifer Nichole Oakley, 39, was born on March 30, 1983 as the second of six children to Darrell & DeVona Oakley in Wichita, KS. She grew up in a happy home where she never lacked a playmate. Jennifer was always the most sensitive and forever had a heart for others. Even playing as kids, she was nearly always the mom or the teacher; her true calling in this life. She was known for being a peacemaker; unless, of course, she was playing a game or being forced to eat any type of corn. Jennifer was quick-witted and took delight in correcting her siblings’ grammar and vocabulary choices. She even had a point system for “big” words and extra points for those words used correctly in a sentence. Jennifer enjoyed spending summers at Beaver Lake with her family and Silver Maple Camp with friends. Jennifer was competitive, fun, and full of love for others.
Jennifer graduated with high honors from Goddard High School in 2001. After much preparation and deliberation, as was Jennifer’s way, she decided to continue her studies at Oklahoma Christian University. There, she quickly met the love of her life, Cole Douglas. The two were quick to fall in love and make plans for a life together. Jennifer graduated with her Bachelors in Education, again with high honors, from Oklahoma Christian in 2004. She married her soulmate a short time later on May 15th, 2004 and began her journey as Jennifer Nichole Douglas. The newlyweds soon moved back to Wichita, KS to be near Jennifer’s family. Jennifer and Cole enjoyed hosting others and began the family tradition of Christmas Eve’s Eve’s dinner at their home in 2004.
Jennifer began her teaching career in 2004 at Seltzer Elementary School in a 4th grade classroom. She was known for her patience, kindness, understanding and love for her students. Jennifer spent countless hours working on interactive assignments and activities for her classroom. While Jennifer enjoyed teaching, her life-long dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom became a reality on April 19, 2008 as they welcomed Cole Brennan Douglas Jr. A short 16 months later, their second son, Branton Cade Douglas arrived on August 28, 2009. Only 18 months later, the happy family of four added another son, Brody Collin Douglas on February 28, 2011. Jennifer thrived as a young mom with three active boys. They enjoyed many trips to the Sedgwick County Zoo, Tanganyika, parks, pools, splashpads…the list goes on and on. Playdates with cousins and friends were constant. As expected, Jennifer’s boys had the perfect mix of orneriness and intelligence that kept her on her toes. As the years progressed, the Douglas family recognized that they were just not complete and still wanted to add another child to their family. Braddock Cooper Douglas was born on March 11th, 2015 and was adopted into the Douglas family on June 26, 2015. He was the perfect fourth arrow to add to the Douglas quiver. Jennifer and her family adapted to their new life as a family of six and were filled with love and joy. Jennifer managed her family with logic, intellect, love, grace, and a healthy dose of frugality. She regularly made a case for doing what makes sense and doing it right. From the beginning, the Douglas boys were brought up to know and serve God. Jennifer was always there for her sons, offering love, guidance, and support through all of life's ups and downs.
From a young age, Jennifer showed interest in the art of baking and candy making. Over time, she learned to make the most delicious and beautiful pies, cakes, bread, cheesecake, fudge and so many other treats. Jennifer was the sole supplier of pies for any Oakley family Thanksgiving or Christmas event. Never wanting to leave anyone out, she took care to ask all of the family and provide even the least requested types of pie. In addition, Jennifer quickly became an expert in her sons’ interests to provide the most detailed and precise birthday cakes; from baseballs to Minecraft and construction sites to Thomas the Train, she mastered it all. There was never a disappointed tastebud if Jennifer was baking. She always remembered the most important ingredient: love.
Jennifer loved the Lord, her savior, and was an active member of Northside Church of Christ for most of her life. Her family began attending when she was only 3 years old. Aside from her time away from home at Oklahoma Christian University, Jennifer attended Northside faithfully for over 36 years. She taught Sunday morning bible class for over 10 years, helped in the nursery and dedicated her time to planning Family Camp children’s classes. Jennifer also contributed heavily to the Kenya Health Center mission in Kenya, Africa. She touched so many lives here and abroad with her faithfulness and love for her heavenly father. Her faith was a cornerstone of her life, and it guided her through both difficult and cheerful times.
Although Jennifer was taken from us far too soon on March 23, 2023, her legacy will live on through the countless lives she touched and the memories she created. Her unwavering faith, tireless dedication, and boundless love will continue to inspire all of us who were lucky enough to know her.
In lieu of flowers, contributions for the Kenya Health Center (in care of Poplar Avenue Church of Christ) would be appreciated.