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Lawyer, former school board member remembered for hard work, ethics
Visitation for Sam Oliver is tonight at Quinlan Visual Arts Center
Sam Oliver

Colleagues and friends are remembering Sam Oliver, a prominent lawyer and community leader who died Wednesday of leukemia at age 68.

A member of Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar, LLP law firm, he was a transactional lawyer who remained dedicated to his clients throughout his life, friends said.

"Even when he was in his last days, he was still worried about his clients," said Julius Hulsey, a friend and co-worker of 42 years. "The guy just didn't quit."

Hulsey said he also remembers Oliver as an honest man, unwavering in his ethics.

But Oliver was involved in community life far beyond law.

He held leadership positions within GB&T Bancshares, Northeast Georgia Community Foundation, Gainesville College Foundation, Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville Planning Commission, Kiwanis and the Chattahoochee Country Club.

He was also a member of the Gainesville Board of Education for 12 years, serving as chairman for three.

"He was an excellent citizen who was concerned for his city," Gainesville Councilman Bob Hamrick said. "He was very dedicated to the task of being a school board member and represented the board well. He was very concerned with student achievement and the welfare of the school system."

Oliver was also a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Hayesville, N.C., where he served as a senior warden for the vestry.

"I would describe him as a godly man and a family man," the Rev. John Rice said. "He had an ongoing love for both. ... He brought a sense of wisdom and humor — both were special blessings to all of us."

Rice also said Oliver was a spiritual leader in the church, providing counsel to many.

"You don't do that with just anybody," Rice added.

Visitation will be held 4-7 p.m. today at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the church in North Carolina.