- Local Guide
Cleve D. Oliver, 78, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011, in The Villages, Florida.
He was born April 25, 1932, in Punxsutawney, the son of the late Charles (Ted) and Elva (Dixon) Oliver.
In 1964, he married Bonnie McCloud Oliver, who preceded him in death in 1999.
In 2005, Mr. Oliver married Mary Alice (Padgett) Oliver.
After graduating from Punxsutawney High School in 1950, Mr. Oliver attended Slippery Rock State Teachers College and graduated in 1954 with a degree in physical education.
Following graduation, he became the director of the Punxsutawney YMCA.
In March 1955, he was inducted into the U.S. Army; upon completion of his tour of duty, which included 16 months in Korea, he attended the University of Iowa, earning his masterâ€™s degree in 1958.
Mr. Oliver's long and admirable teaching and coaching career began at Westminster College in the fall of 1958, acting as the head cross country coach and head track and field coach.
Additionally, he served as an assistant basketball coach under "Buzz" Riddle during a seven-year stretch that included four trips to the small college final four.
A lifelong competitor, his hobbies included, golf, basketball, volleyball and competitive tennis.
In 1972 he attended the Senior Olympics in San Diego, to compete in the pole vault and several other track and field events.
He later moved his family to Panama City, Panama, where he remained for 33 years, teaching and coaching at Balboa High School that served the dependents of military and American government employees; and in 2001, he retired to The Villages, Florida.
A man of boundless energy, Mr. Oliver's love and devotion for his family was exemplified by his willingness to always spend quality time with each.
His deep Christian faith resulted in reading and letter writing which he used to encourage and share the gospel of Christ.
In addition to his wife, Mary Alice, he is survived by a son, Troy Oliver of Yokota Air Base in Japan; five daughters, April Smith and husband Bruce of Colorado Springs, Colo., Misty Barker and husband Chris of Leesburg, Fla., Heidi Davis of Bradenton, Fla.; Melody Deaton and husband Jay of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Christy Llanos and husband David of Ridgefield, Conn.; two sisters, Virginia Scaggs of Niles, Ohio, and Janet Nicholson and husband William of Findley Lake, N.Y.; a brother-in-law, Harold Nichol of Punxsutawney; and 18 grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and first wife Bonnie, he was preceded in death by his sister, Caroline Nichol; an uncle, Ray Oliver and his wife Helen; and a brother-in-law, Charles Scaggs.
A memorial service was held Saturday, March 12, 2011, at Tri-County Baptist Church, Lady Lake, Fla.
A committal service will follow at a later date in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla.