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Billy Oliver - February 23, 2012


William G. “Billy” Oliver died Feb. 23, 2012. He fought a valiant battle against esophageal cancer and spent the last four months of his life at Medical Center of the Rockies.

Billy was born Sept. 9, 1933 in Holyoke to Walter Maynard and Agnes (Darnell) Oliver. He was proud to have lived his entire life in the rural Holyoke area, attending country school at nearby Beachville and graduating from Holyoke High School in 1951.

On July 3, 1955 he was united in marriage to Donna May Fryrear. This union was blessed with three children, Lynda May, William Randal and Kathy Jean.

Engaging in farming after high school, his most loved crop was wheat. Few things were as satisfying to him as a well-earned harvest after a year’s toil.

For many years he also worked for Great Western Sugar at the Ovid factory. He engineered a small locomotive called the “Dinky.” This was one thing he was best known for. He also raised hogs and fed cattle, but his life was not all work.

Collecting and restoring firearms and competitive shooting were his passions over the years. He won more trophies for trap shooting than the house could hold. He hunted all kinds of game but his favorite was the pheasant. He lived for fall hunting the birds behind his bird dog, Jack.

Billy later enjoyed competing in antique tractor pulls and was very competitive with his Minneapolis Moline, with his son and grandson helping him with weighting up.

His memory of the people and events in his life was legendary to his family. They often remarked that Billy never forgot anyone or anything.

Billy was a member of the Holyoke Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association, Elks Club, Pheasants Forever and Holyoke First United Methodist Church.

Billy will be dearly missed by his family and friends. The memories they all share of Billy will live within them forever.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by an uncle, Lloyd Darnell in King City, Mo.; his wife, Donna of Holyoke; daughter, Lynda Firme and husband Randy of Haxtun; son, William Randal and wife Rebecca of Holyoke; daughter, Kathy Bornhoft and husband Tim of Wellington; grandchildren, William Ryan Oliver and wife Jessica of Holyoke, Jeffrey Dean Firme and wife Kortney of Haxtun, Gentry Oliver of Saratoga, Wyo., Carly Firme and fiancé David Risley of Wheatridge, Drew Bornhoft of Wellington and Tate Bornhoft of Wellington; great-grandchildren, Addison and Paige Oliver and Lily and Max Firme; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends.

There will be no visitation for Billy.

The memorial service was scheduled for Thursday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Holyoke with Pastor Al Strauss officiating. Inurnment was set to follow in the Holyoke Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church of Holyoke or the American Cancer Society.

Gerk Funeral Homes was entrusted with the arrangements.