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1966 Corry 2022

Corry Winston Oakes, III

November 29, 1966 — August 7, 2022

SPARTANBURG, SC — Corry Winston Oakes III, 55, died unexpectedly on Sunday, August 7th, 2022.

Born November 29th, 1966 in Lawrenceville, GA, he was the son of Corry Winston Oakes, Jr. and Linda Kirkland Oakes. Corry was the President and CEO of OTO Development, which he co-founded in 2004. 

Corry loved his family deeply. He shared his passion for adventure with his beloved wife of thirty-one years and three girls, coaching them on the ski slopes and introducing them to unique cultures around the world. He was a voracious reader, often passing along quotes and words of wisdom from a broad spectrum of renowned authors, scholarly philosophers, pioneering entrepreneurs, and successful investors. He will be remembered for his unfeigned humility and genuine compassion for others. Corry lived his life in a way that glorified Christ, reminding his family time and time again how impactful a small act of kindness could be.      

Corry grew up playing competitive sports for the Central Gwinnett Black Knights, before earning an academic and athletic scholarship to play football at Wofford College. As a Wofford Terrier, Corry played outside linebacker all four years. When off the field, he built the foundation for a strong business acumen in his economic classes, although his favorite classes were History and English. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business economics, he held roles of increasing responsibility with WJB Blockbuster Video and then Extended Stay America, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. As an NYSE-listed lodging chain, ESA thrived under his leadership, becoming the fastest-growing owner-operated hotel chain in lodging history prior to its sale to Blackstone. OTO Development was founded on the very day the ESA sale closed. 

Corry enjoyed hunting with his brothers, father, and colleagues and spending time on the golf course with patient friends; however, you could always find him happiest in an apron experimenting with new recipes for friends and family at the beach. He was also a connoisseur of wine and collector of Southern art.  

Corry was a pillar of the Spartanburg community, accelerating its momentum not only by recruiting top talent to OTO’s headquarters, but also by serving on Wofford’s Board of Trustees from 2009-2021, including as Chairman from 2019-2021. 

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Amy Nixon Oakes; three daughters, Ashley Kenimer Oakes of New York, New York, Elizabeth Iles Oakes of Jackson, Wyoming, Lauren Kirkland Oakes of Spartanburg, South Carolina; two brothers, Alex Oakes and wife Lea Oakes of Columbia, South Carolina and Peter Oakes and wife Michelle Oakes of Lawrenceville, Georgia; mother and father in-law, Harold and Jo Nixon; brothers and sisters in-law, Pat and Sally Carroll, Bill and Courtney Nixon; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

The celebration of life service will be held Friday, August 12th, 3:00PM at the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, conducted by Reverend Steve Wise. Services may be viewed via LiveStream at

Memorials may be made to Wofford College for the Corry W. Oakes, III Endowed Scholarship Fund, c/o Wofford College Advancement Office, 429 N. Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303; Westminster Presbyterian Church, 309 Fernwood Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307; the Spartanburg Regional Heart Center, c/o Regional Foundation, P O Box 2624, Spartanburg, SC 29304; or the charity of your choice. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Corry Winston Oakes, III, please visit our flower store.


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