Samuel Clay Oliver, Lt. Col. USMC Retired, 91, died at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James on November 26, 2012.
Lt. Col. Oliver was born in Carruthersville, Missouri, on January 3, 1921. He graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1939 and from Washington University School of Law in 1950.
He entered the Marine Corps in 1942 and served as a fighter pilot flying Corsairs in combat in World War II and Korea. He retired in 1967.
Lt. Col. Oliver married Deborah Chadeayne of St. Louis on November 28, 1951.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, Oliver spent six years as Director of Public Relations and Recruiting for St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin.
In 1973, he returned to St. Louis as a hearing officer in the St. Louis County Juvenile Court. He fulfilled his dream of returning to his rural roots by retiring to Licking, Missouri on the Ozark Plateau in 1985.
Sam had a gift for story telling and making friends where ever he went.
In addition to his wife Deborah, Oliver is survived by his children Elizabeth (Betsy) Oliver Butler, H. Sloan, Mary Oliver-Hall, Anne Oliver Lewis, Theodore (Ted), and Amy Oliver Cooke; and 11 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Stephen Clay in 1987.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of James & Gahr Mortuary in Rolla, Missouri. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Missouri Veterans Home, 620 N. Jefferson, St. James, MO, 65559.
“Watch your air speed!”