The Chestnut Mountain community is mourning the loss of a longtime pillar. William Newton “W.N.” Oliver Jr., father of former Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver, died in his home Thursday at the age of 91.
Remembered by his son as an “independent business person,” W.N. Oliver and his late wife, Mary Curtis Mundy Oliver, founded Chestnut Mountain Egg Farms in 1948.
“He was born and raised in Chestnut Mountain, and he lived within probably 75 yards of where he was born for his entire life,” Tom Oliver said. “He was a truly independent business person, and he did everything he could to encourage his children to be independent business people. He believed in Hall County and believed in this area.”
W.N. Oliver, who was born in 1921 as one of eight children, was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran and highly active in his church, Chestnut Mountain Baptist Church. Although over time, his son admitted, age began to slow his father down.
“Like it does to anyone, the older he got, he began to slow down some. He was a hard worker and a very quiet person. Sometimes, you wouldn’t even know he was in the room,” he said.
But according to his son, this may have been one of W.N. Oliver’s best qualities.
“He didn’t want a whole lot said about him and didn’t want a bunch of accolades, but he had the ability to understand people and was of the opinion that sometimes it’s more important what you don’t say than what you do,” he said.
Oliver added that his father had a dry sense of humor and enjoyed being with family.
Longtime friend and Chestnut Mountain resident Harold Nichols was recently quoted in a story about the community, “W.N.’s a good man. He might be the oldest man here. He’s older than dirt.”
W.N. Oliver is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Sally Oliver, daughter, Marcia Oliver Hammock, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Little & Davenport Funeral Home chapel in Gainesville.