James Henry Oliver, Jr. 72, left the bonds of this earth into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on April 6, 2018 at his home in Ashland. He was born in Hazard, Kentucky on July 11, 1945, a son of Clarice “Peggy” McLemore Oliver of Ashland, and the late James Henry Oliver Sr. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by sisters Jennifer Sue Oliver and Jacqueline Oliver Claxon and a brother-in-law, Thomas H. Claxon.
James was a graduate of the first class at Ashland's Paul Blazer High School in 1963, James attended the University of Kentucky. He served in the U. S. Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and as a helicopter door gunner for the 240st Assault Helicopter Company in Viet Nam. He completed his Army service as a fireman in West Germany. He always took pride in his military service and the decorations he received during his service.
James was a member of USWA local 1865 and worked at Armco Steel for thirty-five years. He was a member of Beech Street Christian Church and was named a Kentucky Colonel by Governor John Y. Brown.
Most recently, James authored a book, God Loves Mad Dogs and Greyhounds, in which he described a life defining event during his Viet Nam tour and his subsequent commitment to Jesus. Largely written in poetry, the book also illustrates contemporary events and describes people close to him.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by a sister, Carolyn Oliver Graeves (Raymond), two brothers, Kenneth J. Oliver and Bobby E. Oliver (Johnda), all of Ashland; three nephews, John Claxon and Tommy Claxon of Raceland and James R. Oliver of Ashland, a niece, Julie Claxon, a great niece, Jenna Claxon and great nephew, Eli Ferguson all of Raceland.
Graveside Services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Monday, April 9, 2018 at Rose Hill Burial Park Mausoleum Chapel with Chaplain Jimm Smedley officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Burial Park with military rites provided by the U.S. Army and American Legion Kenova Post 93.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Community Hospice in Ashland or the Disabled American Veterans charity.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Steen Funeral Homes.
Condolences may be sent to www.steenfuneralhome.com.