Man Raises Money To Gift Piano To 104-Year-Old Fellow Veteran

An 86-year-old man is raising money so the Norman Veterans Center and a 104-year-old fellow veteran can get a new piano.

Thursday, June 20th 2024, 5:18 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover


Air Force Veteran Jack Oaks is a lover of music. He wants to gift a piano so other veterans can also hear music they love.

"Well, my folks got my first piano when I was five years old, and I still have that piano," said Oaks.

Spend any amount of time with Oaks, and you’ll discover his happy place. “When I can sit down and play the piano, it’s quite restful to me,” said Oaks.

At 86 years old, Oaks loves sharing his gift with others. “I play a little piano at one of the hospitals, in their cancer section,” said Oaks.

The reactions from patients are all the encouragement he needs. “Some of the frowns turned to smiles,” said Oaks.

While visiting some friends at the veteran’s center in Norman, Oaks wanted to provide some entertainment, so he asked if they had a piano. They did, but it wasn’t quite up to his standards. “It was ok. That’s about as diplomatic as I can say it,” said Oaks.

It was also during that visit that he met 104-year-old, retired World War II Army nurse, Pearl Russell.

Ms. Pearl, a lover of music herself, became Oaks’ biggest fans. “I like honky-tonk, oh I just like all kinds of music,” said Ms. Pearl.

“I was very impressed with Ms. Pearl, and I said hey, Ms. Pearl deserves a very nice piano,” said Oaks.

Oaks has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase a new piano for the center, and of course Ms. Pearl.

“Anybody that can reach 104 [years old] deserves the best,” said Oaks.

Regardless of the outcome of the GoFundMe, Oaks is committed to getting the piano that he has already picked out at Edmond Music. “If that’s not adequate I will make it happen,” said Oaks.

Any money raised above the cost of the piano will be donated directly to the Veteran’s center in Norman. To donate to the GoFundMe, visit


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