FRANK “LUCKY” L. OLIVER
“Lucky” was born May 22, 1926 in Alamagordo, New Mexico. His mother passed away when he was about seven years old and he was raised by his beloved sister, Mary.
He graduated from high school in 1944 and went into active duty for the US Navy on May 12, 1944. He was assigned to the destroyer, USS Hugh W. Hadley, serving on the Pacific front. On May 22, 1945 during the battle NW of Okinawa, the Hadley was hit by three kamikaze planes, a 500 pound bomb, and one smaller bomb, disabling the ship. Lucky was knocked overboard along with many other sailors and was in the water for several hours. He was picked up later and taken to a hospital in Guam. During this battle, the Hadley was distinguished with the “All-time gunnery record during a single engagement” and all those serving on the Hadley received several Presidential Citations. Lucky was also awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries.
He was on leave visiting his ailing father and met Betty Martin, the nurse taking care of his father. They immediately fell in love and were married on February 1, 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were completely devoted to each other until her death in November 23, 2005.
In 1957 they moved their family to Colorado Springs, and then to Black Forest in 1960. Lucky was superintendent for Southwest Plumbing from Albuquerque, sent to Colorado Springs to supervise the plumbing and heating on the “new” Penrose Hospital. When the hospital was finished, they decided to stay in Colorado and he became superintendent of Jolly Plumbing. In 1975, Lucky became the owner of Oliver’s General Store in Larkspur, Co. In 1984, he sold the store and retired.
Lucky is survived by his son, Kim Oliver of Palmer Lake; daughter, Helen Rusk (Greg Dinwiddie) also of Palmer Lake; two grandchildren: Lucky (Amanda) Oliver of Black Forest and Jenny Oliver of Palmer Lake. He also has seven great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one grandson, Jeff Rusk, March 5, 2003.
Lucky loved his family and friends, as well as his home in Black Forest. He was a talented wood worker and enjoyed his pets. He always looked in your eyes when he spoke to you, his handshake was always firm and his word was his honor. Thanks, Dad and Grandpa for showing us how to be strong but loving and what it is to be honorable. We love you.
No services are planned at this time and the family has requested that no flowers be sent.