Joseph (Joe) Anthony Oliver, Jr.
December 06, 1938 – May 23, 2023
Joe Oliver passed away on May 23, 2023, at his home in Santa Rosa, California at the age of 84. Joe’s friends and family will remember him as a caring and generous man who lived life fully and with passion. He always enjoyed a glass of wine or a beer with his friends, traveling, experiencing outdoor adventures across California and Oregon, and working in his vineyard.
Joe was born in 1938 in Detroit to Joe Sr. and Marie (Papandrea) Oliver and went to St. Rita’s School, where he was the captain of the football team. He was the first member of his family to go to college, attending the University of Michigan and Western Michigan, where he met his wife Patricia (Alt) Oliver. They married in 1962 in Grand Rapids. Pat worked while Joe completed his MBA, before he began a 20-year career at IBM, working in various sales and management positions related to data processing systems. In 1971 IBM moved Joe and his family to Portland, OR, where they enjoyed backpacking, camping, mountain climbing and whitewater rafting on the Rogue and Deschutes Rivers. Joe climbed Mt. Rainier in 1974 and Mt. Hood several times with Pat. To prepare for his climbs, Joe started jogging and became an avid runner well into his 70s. He ran over 20 marathons, all after age 40, including Boston in 1982. Joe used to say running taught him the importance of perseverance.
In 1978, Joe and his family moved to Danville, CA where he worked as a banking executive, first with Crocker Bank and later with World Savings & Loan. He and Pat climbed Mt. Whitney in 1984. The couple spent almost 10 years in San Antonio TX with World Savings, but returned to California when Joe retired in 2004, settling on a five-acre farm near Santa Rosa, CA. In retirement Joe and Pat regularly toured Sonoma County wineries for picnics, rode their horses, and tended their farm. Joe planted a vineyard, and his Zinfandel and Chardonnay fruit would annually yield about 30 cases of wine. Joe called his wine “Château Oliver a.k.a. Joe’s Juice”. They invited friends and family every year to join Joe for the fall grape harvest and spring bottling, where some of the wine even made it into the bottles.
Joe and Pat loved visiting Kauai, HI over the years and traveled to Europe many times, especially with their close friends Pat and Joe Heim or with their children. He was a devoted and active leader in the Catholic church throughout his life and considered their trips to Israel (in 2014) and the Vatican for an audience with Pope John Paul II among his most memorable experiences.
Joe is survived by his wife Patricia Oliver; his children Joe and Kate Oliver of Virginia Beach, VA; daughter Cathy Oliver of Portland, OR; his sister Kathie and Mike Moore of Shelby Township, MI; and brother Bill Oliver of Detroit, MI; and three grandchildren Jim, Maddy and Joe IV. A memorial service and luncheon will be held on July 21, 2023 at 10:00 am at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township, MI. Memorial donations may be made to SERRA – Sonoma Equine Rescue, Rehab, & Adoption, Petaluma, CA.