Roger M. Oliver, 76, passed away May 23, 2017, at his beloved home surrounded by his family after a brief but hard-fought illness. He was born on January 13, 1941, in Berea, Kentucky. He was the son of L. Marion and Mildred Young Oliver, and was a member of Berea Baptist Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an older brother who died in childhood, Noal, and by his adored wife of forty-seven years, Gladys Jennings (Muff) Oliver, although her precious memory continued to live and reside with him until his death.
He is survived by his loving family consisting of his children, Brigette Oliver Ryalls (Steven Buda), Brandy Oliver Brown (Ben Robinson, III), and Anthony Jennings Oliver (Claire FitzSimmonds), each of whom was his favorite. He is also survived by the children of Brandy, Anthony Sebastian and Alexander Payne "Zane" Brown, and the children of Brigette, Anne Lorraine and Jackson Kenneth Ryalls, each of his grandchildren also being his favorite. Also surviving are his brother, Douglas Y. Oliver and his wife Deanee, and a dear niece and nephew, Brinkley Oliver Brown and Noal Oliver.
Roger graduated from Berea High School in 1958, the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce in 1963, and the University of Kentucky Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in December 1963. While in law school, he was on the Moot Court Board as well as the Kentucky Law Journal.
Roger, for the better part of his legal career, was a general practitioner in his firm Oliver & Oliver Law Offices with an emphasis on litigation. In 1986, he established a jury money verdict record in Garrard County, Kentucky. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and qualified for membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He was also Berea City Attorney from 1968-1978 and Master Commissioner for the Madison Circuit Court from 1970-1980. He was a member of the Madison County Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, American Justice Association [formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association] and the Kentucky Justice Association [formerly the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys]. He was admitted to practice in all Kentucky courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States of America. In 2015, he was honored by the Kentucky Bar Association as a Senior Counselor.
Roger also had many varied interests outside of his family and the practice of law. He formerly was a co-owner of WKXO Radio Station in Berea. He opened the Irongate Restaurant & Lounge in Richmond, as well as restaurants in Lexington and Winchester. He taught accounting at Eastern Kentucky University. He was a past president and board member of the Berea Country Club. He was past vice-chairman and a board member of the Madison County International Committee, having made seven trips to Japan in that capacity. He was a licensed pilot; an amateur musician (piano, bass guitar, trumpet, and nationally renowned gut-bucket player); an amateur photographer; a golfer; a basketball player (until his body wouldn't cooperate); an above-average ping pong player; the winner of the 1960 ACU Region 4 Pocket Billiards Tournament in Lexington; an intermediate singles and advanced doubles tournament backgammon player, having placed second in doubles division at an Ohio State Backgammon Tournament; and formerly the color analyst for the Eastern Kentucky University Sports Network and play-by-play broadcaster for the Berea College Basketball Radio Network. He was also the writer and broadcaster of a daily radio program entitled Law Talk, a legal commentary on areas of general and current legal interest.
Later in life, after the death of his wife, Muff, he also became an accomplished cook, dishwasher, laundryperson, and an all-around homemaker.
Roger's life will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, beginning at 5 p.m., at 1008 Richmond Road at the home he and Muff designed early in their marriage after seeing a photograph in a magazine of double doors looking out at a swimming pool. They were able to break ground in 1978 and both deeply loved their dream home throughout their lives.
Roger and Muff loved to host family, friends, and colleagues at parties at their home, filling it with laughter and joy. It was his wish that tales of his life and his many adventures be shared among those who loved him in a celebration of the same manner. There will be a Memorial Service at Davis & Powell Funeral Home on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at 2 p.m. The family will be receiving visitors prior to the service from 12-2 p.m. It was Roger's request that he be cremated. Roger and Muff's ashes will be combined and interred at a later date at the Berea Cemetery, where they will remain together for eternity.
The family requests that gestures of remembrance be made through donations in honor of Roger M. Oliver to the Hospice Compassionate Care Center, 350 Isaacs Lane, Richmond, Kentucky.
Published on May 24, 2017