Algernon Oliver


Algernon Oliver

retired clergy

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Algernon M. “Al” Oliver, 88, of Pensacola, a retired United Methodist pastor, died Nov. 2, 2006.


A memorial service was at Azalea Trace Nov. 5. Private committal services with full military honors were held at Barrancas National Cemetery.


Pensacola Memorial Gardens Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Rev. Oliver was born in Yazoo City, Miss., the son of the Rev. and Mrs. A. S. Oliver. He received his bachelor of science from Millsaps College and his master of theology from Emory University in Atlanta. He also attended Harvard University.

Rev. Oliver served as a chaplain in the U. S. Navy from 1943 to 1964. Assignments included three ships and various duty stations in the U.S. and abroad, duty with the U. S. Marines (infantry) in the Korean Conflict, office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon and commanding officer of the Navy Chaplains School in Newport, R.I.


In September 1964 he retired from the Navy and accepted a position as an overseas staff executive with the Church World Services Department of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, New York, N.Y. Until 1970 he served as executive director of Korea Church World Service, with headquarters in Seoul, Korea. In May 1966, he received from Korean President Park Chung Hee, the Order of Merit National Medal, the highest award that nation gives to foreign citizens. He was honored for his contribution to the social and economic development of that country.


Upon his return from Korea, he joined Goodwill Industries of America, Inc. and was first assigned to Miami. He was later appointed president and CEO  of Goodwill Industries of Richmond, Va., and later served in that same position with Goodwill Industries in Oklahoma City.


In January 1977, Rev. Oliver again retired and moved to Pensacola, where he served during his Navy career. For a number of years, he was a technical consultant to Goodwill Industries of America, Inc. and Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the state of Florida.


For his Navy service, Rev. Oliver received the following awards: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (two battle stars), World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (four battle stars), United Nations Service Medal, U.S. Presidential Unit Citation Badge and the U.S. Department of Defense Badge.


In addition, he belonged to numerous civic clubs and organizations in several states.


In July 1995 he married Delores Hampton Simpson, and they spent their active retirement years at Azalea Trace, enjoying extensive travel in the USA and abroad. Rev. Oliver also played golf. Further, the Olivers spent time in his Mississippi timberlands and in her home in Sarasota.


He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth Barrett Oliver, who died in 1991, and a daughter, Susan Oliver, who died in 1974.


Survivors include his wife, Delores; a son, Steve Oliver; and a daughter, Ann Olson; both of Lake Mary; a step-son Robert Simpson of Scotch Plains, N.J; and two grandchildren.


The family requests that memorials be sent to the Sunday morning worship services at Azalea Trace, Emerald Coast Hospice or the charity of your choice.