Robert Cornell "Tuffy" Oliphant, 88, of Huntsville, Texas, passed away on January 30, 2013 in Huntsville, Texas. Mr. Oliphant was born on November 7, 1924, in Shiro, Texas to Curtis Oliphant and Gertrude Leigh Oliphant.
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He is preceded in death by his parents, sister, Erma, and brothers, Curtis and Wendell. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, LaVera; sons Robert Jr. and Jonathan Reed; grandchildren Chase and Caly Reed.
"Tuffy" loved sports. He was a 1942 graduate of Huntsville High School and while there, he was a 3 year starter and letterman in football and basketball. In football, he was twice All District, All Region, and All Southeast Texas. He was the recipient of the Roy Sandell trophy for most outstanding player and was elected to the All Century Hornet team.
After graduation, he joined the Merchant Marines and was selected for officer training in the Army Transportation Corps. Because he wanted a more active role in the war after he was commissioned, he obtained a release and joined the Marine Corps. Upon completion of boot camp he was placed in V-12, an officer training program, and was sent to Southwestern Louisiana Institute and then to the University of North Carolina where he was a football tailback letterman and member of the basketball "B" team. After the war, he received several offers from major colleges but signed with Sam Houston State to be near family. He also received an invitation from one of the pro teams to attend training camp. He graduated from Sam Houston State with a BBA degree, was a football letterman, and president of the senior class.
After graduation in 1948, he was employed by Shell Oil for 34 years. He was a lifetime member of First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Texas.
Funeral services for Mr. Oliphant will be held Monday, February 4, 2013, 1:00 p.m., at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Huntsville, Texas. Interment will follow at Independence Cemetery in Shiro, Texas. He will lie in state before the service on Monday, February 4, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., with family receiving friends from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home.
Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.shmfh.com
Published in Houston Chronicle on February 3, 2013