He will be greatly missed, but his stories, poems, and songs will live on forever in our hearts and minds.
He came to this earth on Sept. 9, 1931, in the mining town of Dolores, Colo., to James Wesley Oliver, Sr. and Ida Beatrice Pinkerton Oliver. As the son of a government trapper, Jim spent his childhood summers in a boy’s paradise, fishing, hunting and trapping in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah. These fond memories later became the stories that delighted his family and friends and formed the basis of his book, “True Life Adventure Stories of Little Jimmy Oliver, The Trapper’s Son.”
Always an active and energetic man, Jim played football throughout high school, college, and the U.S. Navy – which he served in during the Korean War. During his term of service, he was wounded on the battleship USS Oriskany.
Following his service for our country, he married Loraine Castagno on Aug. 8, 1956, in the Logan LDS Temple.
Jim was a man of many talents and great industry. As a carpenter, he built three homes during his life, the first at the age of 18. He graduated from Utah State University in 1960 with a degree in industrial education and taught industrial arts at Roosevelt, Granger, and Kearns high schools. In 1973, he joined the engineering department at Brigham Young University, where he spent 17 years teaching in the mechanical engineering machine shop.
Known by many as a man with a “perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men,” Jim served dutifully in the church, loving Scouting. He was a dedicated student of the scriptures and engaging teacher.
Jim spent the last five years of his life under the same quality of loving care in the Heritage Care Center in American Fork.
Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Loraine Castagno; and five children: Sharon Warner (Ken) of Springville, John Wesley Oliver (Denise) of Lincoln, Neb., Rose Palmer (Brian) of Redlands, Calif., Tracy Schultz (Craig) of Orem, and Julie Andersen (Chuck, deceased) of Lehi; 25 grandchildren; sister, Dixie Dalton; in-laws, Glenna Oliver and Lola Mae Oliver of Moab, Frank and Ella Santiago of Provo, LaRae Castagno of Orem, LeRoy and Donna Rose of Tooele; and many nieces and nephews who loved him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Lonnie and Delbert Oliver; sister, Marjorie Hill; and son-in law, Charles Andersen.
Services were held in the White Church in Mapleton. Viewings were held on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, prior to funeral services.
Services were under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary, Springville, Utah.