William Harold Oliver, of High Prairie, passed away June 23, 2017, in High Prairie at the age of 73 years.
Harold, was born April 2, 1944, in Lloydminster, Sask., and was the eldest of seven children, born to Rusty and Edna Oliver. Being the eldest child, Harold learned responsibility early in his life.
He completed high school in Lloydminster before moving on to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, to complete a two-year business administration program. Following the end of his first year at NAIT, he and a friend, Glenn, ventured north with a mission to get to the Yukon, where they were going to “make the big bucks”. They stopped in High Prairie at the John Deere dealership to visit family of Glenn. While visiting, the manager, Alvin Meneice, encouraged them to stay and work at the dealership as he was shorthanded. Harold was to get the combines prepared for the fall harvest.
Harold returned to NAIT in the fall, for his second term, then returned to the dealership the following spring, where he remained for some time before moving on to work for the federal government.
While in High Prairie, the first summer, Harold met his future wife, Diana. The romance blossomed resulting with Harold and Diana being married on Nov. 10, 1967. November, this year they would have celebrated 50 years of marriage. Harold always teased that Diana married him for his money, and together it was believed they had a whole $15!
Harold transferred from the federal government to the provincial government, where he worked, for a number of years.
On Oct. 7, 1974, Harold and Diana’s only son, Shawn, was born.
In 1975, Harold was approached by Esso to consider becoming their local oil bulk agent. Harold gladly accepted the challenge although he and Diana had no investment money to their name, as they had already spent the $15 on diapers for Shawn. In order to grow the business, Diana quit her job in 1976 at the court office, so she could do the books full time.
Over the years, the business included fuel, oils, fertilizers and propane. Several years later, upon his graduation from NAIT, Shawn also became employed in the family business. The business flourished for some 30-plus years. During this period, Harold assisted Diana’s brothers, for several years, with the family farm, raising grain and livestock.
When Imperial Oil was about to do a major change in their method of doing business, Harold and Diana made a decision to turn to retirement.
Retirement did not last long, as shortly thereafter with three other couples, Harold and Diana purchased Home Hardware, which we know today as POPS Home Hardware and Building Centre.
Over the years, Harold was a tremendous “man of the community”. He participated with both volunteerism and financial support, to many groups, organizations and causes, thereby touching people, of all ages. Harold was an active member of the Elks Lodge and was known for spending many of his hours maintaining the grass at the Elks rodeo grounds.
We have to think, Harold enjoyed his retirement. He often joked that he perhaps should look for a real job in order that he maybe could get a day off.
Harold always looked forward to fall, when he made attempts to secure the winter meat supply through his bonding trips with friends. It was felt that this winter meat supply probably cost about $500 per pound.
He also enjoyed fishing, going to Jerry’s trapline, and going to the cabin at Shaw’s Point, and we must not forget going to auction sales. Over the years, Harold also enjoyed the travels he and Diana made to various parts of the world, often traveling with Shawn, grandchildren, nieces and friends.
Family and friends were very important to Harold. He also always looked forward to summer holidays, when nieces Amanda, Andrea and Kendra would come to stay with our family.
Then there was the coming of grandchildren, a true blessing in Harold’s life. He could not have been more proud of being a grandfather. He enjoyed absolutely every moment with them and enjoyed and appreciated the diversity in their personalities. Taylor, Reid and Sophie, were loved by grandpa to the moon and back, or maybe even farther. He believed in them.
The grandchildren were asked to look at the stars at night, as they might notice they are a little brighter. They might see that that the moon is glowing more brightly, as well. The reason for this is elementary. Grandpa has moved on to his next life with God, and his light shines into the heavens and beyond for eternity.
Harold was an exceptionally loyal and committed husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend. Harold’s good friend, Ben, has said, “You could ask Harold a question, and you could feel that he always thought about it, you could almost see him put his brain in gear before he opened his mouth to answer.”
Harold had friends he treasured from every walk of life, friendships that he had kept from childhood. He was extremely proud to have a chair at the table of the Homeland and Twilight Colonies.
Harold is survived by: his wife, Diana; son Shawn, and three amazing grandchildren, Taylor, Reid and Sophie; one sister, Joy [husband Bob)] five brothers, Edgar [wife Lynda]; Ken [friend Anna]; Dennis [wife Arlene]; Doug [wife Cindy]; and Donald. Harold also leaves to mourn numerous precious nieces and nephews and other family members.
Harold was predeceased by: his parents, Rusty and Edna.
We, as a family, would be remiss not to acknowledge those who were at Harold’s side in his days of serious need. A special thank you to Father George, for your spiritual guidance; Dr. Ali Niazee, for the care you gave Harold, showing extreme care and compassion, along with your team members, Dr. Nader Elhsaeri, and Dr. Magda Dutoit; the staff at the High Prairie Health Complex Acute Care department, Emergency department, Lab and X-ray, EMS, Security, Dieticians and Food Services. Thank you for the warm and genuine care you extended to our loved one.
Harold was one of a kind. He has moved on to his eternal resting place and we know that he has already earned his wings…and they are golden!