William Achel Oliver, known as “Bill” by his friends or “Papa” by his grandchildren, passed away on June 24, 2019.
Bill was born on December 31, 1947 to the late Achel Palmer Oliver and Ruby Rhea Sawyer Oliver. He lived in Rose Bud, Arkansas the first six years of his life but grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana and graduated from LaGrange Senior High School.
He is preceded in death by both of his parents, his daughter Jane Rachelle Oliver, his mother-in-law Mary Helen Cummins McCool, his father-in-law Dorris Preston McCool, and his brother-in-law James Colen Way.
Bill has one older sister, Martha Sue Oliver Way, and a younger brother Kenny Layne (and Cindy Duke) Oliver. Bill met the love of his life, Carolyn Marie McCool, at McNeese State University in 1967 and proposed on the spot. Bill and Carolyn celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last July.
Together, Bill and Carolyn had an amazing life of adventures with their four children. His surviving children are Christy Oliver Reeves and son-in-law Brandon Reeves, Lisa Oliver Thomas and son-in-law Jason Thomas, Michael William Oliver and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Wyble Oliver. Bill was blessed with four talented and adorable grandchildren, Ellen Marie Farmer, Kyra Jane Reeves, Jonathan Michael Oliver, and Lucy Sawyer Reeves, which he enjoyed spoiling. He is also survived by a host of cousins, nieces and nephews, his children’s in-laws, and lifelong friends of which he cherished.
Bill retired as a BellSouth/AT&T Officer in December 2009, after over 36 years of service. He served as the BellSouth/AT&T State President for Louisiana for eight and a half years. His entire tenure was in the state of Louisiana. In 1987 and 1988, he was responsible for all telecommunications services to support the Republican National Convention, New Orleans. He refers to this experience as a “career defining event.” In 2004, he was selected to reign as the King of Washington Mardi Gras, one of the greatest experiences and honors of his life.
Bill joined the Army ROTC at McNeese State University, graduating as a Distinguished Military graduate. He served 21 years in the U.S. Army Reserve as an officer, retiring in 1991 with the rank of Major. Bill’s leadership role in the military gave him the opportunity to greatly influence the lives of many young men and women.
Bill holds a BS in Mathematics from McNeese State University and an MBA from Tulane University. He was recognized by his Tulane classmates with the prestigious Vorholt Award for Business Leadership in 1990 and by McNeese as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2005. He has been recognized by the Boy Scouts with the 2019 Pillar of Scouting Award, the Silver Beaver award and the Distinguished Citizen Award and the YLC as an Outstanding Role Model.
Since 2006, Bill has worked with the Ochsner Health System. Originally serving as a board member for four years, he later resigned to move into a position supporting their philanthropy and government relations work in 2010. As the philanthropy team grew in 2013, he focused exclusively on government relations and lobbying for the system. Most of his current work was building their external relationships through business development, hospital acquisition and governmental affairs. A strong believer and personal supporter of Ochsner’s exceptional healthcare, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the William A. Oliver Cardiology Fund at Ochsner Baton Rouge. Donations may be made online at https://www.ochsner.org/billoliver or mailed to: Ochsner Medical Center, Department of Philanthropy, William A. Oliver Cardiology Fund, 17000 Medical Center Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70816. Please call or email Ochsner Baton Rouge with questions - 225-236-5499 /email@example.com
Bills life will be celebrated on Friday, June 28, 2019 with visitation from 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy. Visitation will resume on Saturday June 29, 2019 with visitation from 8:00 am until funeral services at 9:00 am at Jefferson Baptist Church, 9135 Jefferson Hwy. Burial will take place in Resthaven Gardens of Memory.
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