Joseph Delbert Oliver, Jr.
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Joseph Delbert Oliver, Jr., 89, of Ridgeland, Mississippi died on September 10, 2013 at Highland Home in Ridgeland following several months of illness.
Delbert was born to the late J. D. and Alma Oliver on February 11, 1924 in Texarkana, Texas. He graduated from Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana and received a journalism degree from Louisiana State University in 1949. Delbert married the late Kathryn A. Carson on July 3, 1949, and they resided in Jackson, Mississippi until her death on February 16, 1998.
He is survived by his two sons and their wives-- Bill and Becky Oliver of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Joey and Patrice Oliver of San Antonio, Texas. He is also survived by two grandsons and their families—David and Kelly Oliver of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Kent and Candace Oliver of Madison, Mississippi, and two granddaughters—Anna Oliver of Brooklyn, New York and Jennie Oliver of Columbus, Ohio. In addition, he is survived by three great grandchildren—Carson and Cecile Oliver of Hattiesburg, and Annie Oliver of Madison. Delbert is also survived by his sister, Nancy Salassi of Denham Springs, Louisiana and was preceded in death by his sister, Alma Jean Oliver, and his brother, Harold Mitchell Oliver.
Delbert served in K Company, 407th Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division in World War II as a minesweeper and later was involved in publishing a national newsletter for the alumni group of these proud soldiers. His work career included positions in newspaper reporting and editing, public relations, labor relations, and human resources. He retired from DeSoto, Inc in Jackson in 1983 and then from First Mississippi Corporation in 1994 where he served as Manager of Human Resources.
A member of First Christian Church in Jackson and Northeast Christian Church in Madison, he served as Trustee, Elder, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board. His love of music led to involvement with the New Bourbon Street Jazz Society, a Jackson organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional jazz music in the New Orleans style where he served as President of this organization for several years. An avid golfer at Colonial Country Club, he had served as its President in the 1970s.
While actively employed, he was a member and leader in several associations for human resources, journalism, and public relations professionals. After retiring, he volunteered as a lobbyist for the Mississippi AARP State Legislative Committee. He also volunteered on the Boards of Mississippi Blood Services and Information and Quality Healthcare. After surviving colon cancer in the 1990's he served as the President of the Ostomy Association of Jackson.
He was an avid sports fan for the LSU Tigers, the Millsaps Majors, and the Mississippi Braves. His retiree business card best summarized his zest for life as he described himself as a "Funseeker, chasing music and good times, and a WWII veteran". His passion for life will be remembered by many who were able to see him lead by example.
Funeral services for Joseph Delbert Oliver, Jr. will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13th at Lakewood Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 6011 Clinton Boulevard, Jackson, Mississippi with visitation beginning at 12:00pm. Entombment will follow in Lakewood Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Forrest General Healthcare Foundation, P. O. Box 19010, Hattiesburg, MS 39404-9010 for the Hospice House Project.
Published in Clarion Ledger on Sept. 12, 2013