Cover photo for John W. Oliver, Jr.'s Obituary
John W. Oliver, Jr. Profile Photo
1941 John 2020

John W. Oliver, Jr.

December 18, 1941 — August 7, 2020

On August 7, 2020, COVID-19 stole our husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. But earth’s loss made Heaven a happier place as the man known to many as “Happy Jack” took his place in the eternal celebration of life.

The family will have a private Mass of Christian Burial at St. Michael Catholic Church in Plymouth, and burial in the New Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth.

A drive-thru Celebration of Jack’s Life will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 from 12-4 p.m. at the Oliver Ford Lincoln Dealership, 1001 E. Jefferson Street, Plymouth. Guests are asked to please stay in their cars. The cars will file in a single car line through the service bay area. You will get a moment while in the bay to greet Jana and the family, but from a distance for everyone’s safety and continued growth in strength for Jana. Masks while in your car in the bay area are optional, but when signing the guest book that the grandkids will be helping with, please have one on.

John W. “Jack” Oliver was born in Louisville, KY on December 18, 1941, the second of two children born to John and Christine Oliver. His sister, Judy, was his constant companion as the family moved first to Fort Wayne, then Huntington, and finally settling in Plymouth, IN, in 1955. It is in Plymouth where Jack’s father established Oliver Ford Sales, Inc., and where Jack (as well as his children) advanced through the ranks of the dealership, starting with the most humble positions so that they would indeed know the business inside and out.

Upon his father’s retirement in 1974, Jack became the youngest Ford dealer in Indiana and built further upon the family’s reputation for good business: (1) Pay your employees well, (2) Pay your bills on time and (3) Share your good fortune whenever possible (and, from Jack’s perspective, it was always possible!). It was a mantra that served him well throughout his career. Whenever a project to benefit children was presented, Jack was quick to contribute, recognizing that a vibrant community is built on the strengths of its families. A strong advocate of United Way of Marshall County, in 2014 he, Jana and their family were recognized as the Volunteers of the Year, an honor reserved for the most consistent supporters. He also devoted many man hours and the resources availed by the dealership to support the “Warm Up Marshall County Coat Drive”, as well as the “Ounce of Prevention” Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns, which significantly impacted the community and continue today. While many know of the contributions Oliver Ford Sales, Inc., made to the communities they served, the overriding story of Jack’s success was focused on his love of his family. He was happiest when surrounded by the fruits of his 55-year marriage to Jana Berger Olive daughter Jennifer (Chuck) and their sons Luke and Grant; son John (Michelle) Oliver III and their children Sydney and Jeff; and daughter Jessica Oliver and her sons Andrew, Thomas and Philip Oliver-Overmyer. Sister Marilyn (Judith Ann Oliver), his sister, remained a constant companion throughout his life. Whether it was hosting Christmas, planning family adventures in the Florida sunshine or on the waters of Pretty Lake, or cheering on the team for whatever sport or activity currently captured their grandkids’ interest, Jack savored his time with family and every action was guided by that life compass. Jack Oliver was a man who enjoyed the full emotional spectrum of life. Fall short of his expectations and you would promptly be made aware of it. And there was no mistaking the glee in his eyes when he pulled a “good one” on someone. He loved a good cigar and was partial to a well-aged drink. He loved his work. He loved his family. And all who knew him are certain to have a “Happy Jack” tale to share. He certainly made a difference.

Rest in peace, Happy. We tip our hat in gratitude to you!

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to United Way of Marshall County, PO Box 392, 2680 Miller Drive, Suite 120, Plymouth, IN 46563 or the University of Saint Francis Student Scholarship Fund, University of Saint Francis, 2701 Spring St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John W. Oliver, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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