Will “Bill” Oliver Jr., known dearly to many as Uncle Bill or Wild Bill, 82, of Middletown, passed peacefully on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, CT after a hard fought battle. He is predeceased by his parents Will Oliver Sr. and Marie Hicks Oliver of Eufaula, AL. Bill was born in 1938 in Eufaula where he attended T.V. McCoo High School where he was a star football and basketball player. Bill was a dedicated sports fan and loved watching the University of Alabama football, the New England Patriots and his UConn Husky Men and Women's basketball teams.
Bill was the oldest of six children, including sisters Marye Bradley of Middletown, CT; Marie (Willard) Brown of Middlefield, CT and Lily Mae Oliver of Middletown, CT. He is predeceased by his brothers Jimmy Lee (Daisy) Oliver of Eufaula, AL and Bennie Frank (Liz) Oliver of Middletown, CT.
In 1959, Bill met the love of his life Bettye Reeves Oliver and after a whirlwind romance they were happily married on June 11, 1959. They were wed for a fulfilling 61 years. Bill and Bettye shared a happy life together traveling to various states including Buffalo, NY and eventually settling in Middletown, CT. While in Middletown, Bill worked at Goodyear Rubber Company, Pratt and Whitney, and the City of Middletown Board of Education driving School Bus #11 and Woodrow Wilson High School, where he was the pool superintendent. He was affectionately called Uncle Bill by many of his students and proudly accepted the role as a surrogate uncle to many of Middletown’s youth. He was an avid member of Cross Street AME Zion in Middletown, CT where he sat on the building committee of the brand new church. As well as a member of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Middletown. Bill happily retired in 1994 from the City of Middletown Board of Education.
Bill and Bettye loved children more than anything, and their lives were filled with joy by their own children, grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews. As the patriarch, Bill had pride in ensuring the togetherness of the family. Bill is predeceased by his daughter Meridian Jemmott of Middletown, CT and son Rodney Dixon of Cromwell, CT. He is survived by his loving daughters Debra Oliver of Middletown, CT; Tayna (Chris Sr.) Oliver-Perry of Middletown, CT; Tammi Brown of Savannah, GA; and Deborah Kay (Anthony) Smith of Colorado Springs, CO. In addition to a godson Andre Fitzpatrick of Middletown, CT. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren Demetress (Terrell) Washington of Middletown, CT; Chris Perry Jr. of Baltimore, MD; Mallory Perry of Cromwell, CT; Jordan Brown of Murfreesboro, TN; Ariana Brown of Savannah, GA; Curtis (Erica) Calloway of Cincinnati, OH and Kitima (Quentin) Williams of Colorado Springs, CO and a great-grandson Malachi Brown of Murfreesboro, TN.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday, December 22nd from 4pm to 7pm at Doolittle’s Funeral Home at 14 Old Church Street, Middletown, CT. Due to COVID-19 we will be practicing strict social distancing and enforcing masks. A private funeral will be held with the family that you may attend virtually through Doolittle Funeral Home facebook page at 11:00am on Wednesday, December 23rd. In lieu flowers, please make a donation in Bill’s memory to Cross Street AME Zion, to the Education and/or Mortgage Fund, 440 West Street, Middletown, CT 06457. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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