KEWANEE – William J. “Bill” Oliver, 96, of Kewanee, died Friday, January 5, 2024 at his home.
He was born January 16, 1927 in Kewanee, the son of Harold D. and Elsie M. (Willetts) Oliver. He married LaVonne Fleer on June 15, 1949 in Kewanee and she preceded him in death on April 1, 1959. He later married Charlotte (Anderson) Swanson on February 13, 1962 in Kewanee and she preceded him in death on June 1, 2003. Survivors include his son, Kevin Swanson of Kewanee, six grandchildren; Bradley (Bridgette) and Matthew Swanson and Travis, Ty and Tray Mitchell and Charlyn Key, several great grandchildren including Patrick, Casey and Grace, nieces and nephews; Frank and Dian Reed, Gary Eberling, Mike and Gail Grady and Bob and Gailyn Johnson and several great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by his parents, sister, Dorothy Johnson, daughter, Jackie Maples, granddaughter, Cori Ellis and his special friend Sandy Fleming.
Bill served his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII serving in Panama from January of 1945 until July of 1946 obtaining the rank of Electricians Mate 3rd Class. He worked at various places throughout his career including for his father at H.D. Oliver Furnace and Sheet Metal (which is now Johnson Heating and Air Conditioning), Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor, Boss Manufacturing, Chet Lyle Mobile Station and in the maintenance department at Kewanee Public Hospital. In 1963 he began working for Creamer Funeral Home as an ambulance driver and funeral attendant and was a permanent fixture when it became Rux Funeral Home in 1973 serving there until 2012.
Bill adored his family and enjoyed visiting with people especially his funeral home family. He loved having breakfast at the former The Station Restaurant and attending McDonalds daily.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 12 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee with Rev. Martin Gutzmer officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m., Thursday, January 11 at the funeral home. The burial will be in Evergreen Memorial Gardens in rural Kewanee with military rites accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Memorials may be directed to the Parkinsons Foundation or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.