Obituary: James Edward Oliver

James Edward Oliver was born in his grandmothers house in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, on June 20, 1932, to Harrison Theodore Oliver and Helen Margaret Gray Oliver. Jim was the second of five children born to Ted and Helen. Jim and his older brother, Teddy, were both born with special needs.

Jim and his family moved from Oklahoma to Redondo Beach, California, in about 1938 when Jim’s younger brother, Joe was 2 years old. Sister Frances followed in 1939. The family moved to Manhattan Beach, California, where youngest sister Mary Ellen was born in 1948. Teddy and Jim started participating in programs specially designed for retarded citizens beginning in Los Angeles when they were in their mid-20s. Our family lived in Manhattan Beach for about 33 years.

Ted H., as our father liked to be called, started a redwood lumber supply business in our backyard where Jim worked alongside his father, brothers and oldest sister Francie. The “boys” as Teddy and Jim were affectionately called by family moved to Arkansas in 1976 to live with Joe and his family on the farm. Joe bought a beautiful blond horse named Lady that Jim loved to ride. Teddy and Jim helped Joe on the farm until Dad retired and he and Mom moved to Nashville, Arkansas, in February 1977.

While living in Nashville, Teddy and Jim joined a sheltered workshop program at The Children’s Center. Jim loved the parties and dances that were held on a regular basis and he and Teddy were always the life of the party. The family moved back to California in 1982 and settled in Long Beach.

Teddy and Jim began working at the Long Beach branch of ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens). Jim made many friends at the workshop and Special Olympics bowling, where he won many ribbons, metals and trophies.

Our father passed away in 1983 but Teddy and Jim continued to live with mom til the summer of 2002 when they moved to Prescott Valley, Arizona, to live with Mary Ellen and her husband, Garth. Shortly after moving to Prescott Valley Teddy and Jim began working at Antelope Point Industries, the Prescott Valley branch of YEI. Jim worked at API til 2018 when he had to stop due to his health.

Jim passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at about 10 a.m. He is survived by his brothers, Teddy Oliver, and Joe Oliver and his wife, Diana; and his youngest sister, Mary Ellen and her husband, Garth; Aunt Evelyn Burkey; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and two great-great nieces, as well as many, many friends.

Jim was preceded in death by this father, Ted H. Oliver; his mother, Helen M. Oliver; his sister, Fran Redman; and brother-in-law, Jerry Redman.

Jim was a very loving and friendly guy who saw goodness and love in everyone he met. Those who knew him will always remember a kind and loving person. He was indeed special and will be greatly missed. A special thank you to Renee Williams and Mika Davis, his special and loving caregivers, the team at Aires, Angels Care Home Health and Hospice of the Pines. You treated Jim as if he was your own uncle or grandfather. Your loving care is greatly appreciated by his family.

Affordable Burial and Cremation of Prescott Valley took wonderful care of Jim. No services were held at this time.

Information provided by survivors.

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