Oliver was taught that a good “undertaker” tries to “stay in the background, not having a light shined on the individual.” In his quiet, private way, knows he is helping people in this community and surrounding counties in a very difficult time of their lives, while helping to ease their grief in a Christian, caring way.
“(I think we are) helping (people) to begin a process of finding a ‘new normal’ for their lives,” Oliver said. “You never know when someone is watching you or listening to you. I try to let people know that I’m just a man, that whatever I do, I’m just a conduit for God trying to help or comfort a family, through me, not by me.”
Oliver said whatever “success” he has had has been “entirely” through the grace of God.
“My faith means everything,” Oliver said. “Without it, I don’t see how people get out of bed in the morning. So many times you have to just turn everything over to God and let him sort things out. Not necessarily the big things, but the small things, too.”
Oliver said he didn’t really choose this career. He was just drifting, “changing majors and wasting time, and his parent’s money” in college for a time.
“I prayed hard about it and decided to go to mortuary school and see how that worked out,” Oliver said. “At the very start of school, I realized that I understood what the instructors were talking about. Made A’s on the first tests and thought ‘maybe this is where I’m supposed to be.’ If you listen hard enough, God will put you where he wants you to be, even if you don’t always agree with Him.”
His biggest supporters, encouragers, and business mentors have been his parents; Welty and Edith Oliver; his first cousin and his wife, James Earl and Margie Oliver from Winona; and his family in Eupora: his wife Becky, daughter, Edie, and his son, Casey.
“Welty and Edith, James Earl and Margie taught me the details of running a funeral home, but more importantly, they taught me how to be a good ‘Christian’ running a funeral home,” Oliver said. “You can’t have one without the other in the funeral profession. While my family here have supported me and gave me their patience, there have been so many vacations, birthday parties, ballgames, Christmas mornings missed. Becky, Edie and Casey have given me the love and support over the years to enable me to do whatever I needed to do through so many difficult situations. I owe them so much.”
Oliver said he “can’t begin to explain the value of the men and women who have had a part in the work of Oliver Funeral Home, both past and present.”
“So many times when people express ‘thanks to Oliver Funeral Home,’ they are talking about my employees, not me,” Oliver said. “We’ve always had fine Christian people helping — people who care more about others than themselves.”
Oliver said past employees such as, Boots Blain, Johnny Huffman, Wister Ray, Bro. Martin Jacks, Bro. Willy Weddle; as well as the present staff: Randy McCool, Raymond Hitt, Brown Bailey, Jerry Faust and Martha Rogers. And Oliver’s “second family at Oliver Funeral Home in Winona,” such as Karl Oliver, James Waggoner and Craig Collins, who are always ready to come to Eupora and help when needed.
“All our people, both past and present have always been like a big family, never taking advantage of each other, but always trying to be there to help each other in a very difficult profession 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year,” Oliver said.
“Working at Oliver’s is a very rewarding job–assisting families at their most difficult times and showing them that we respect not only them but their loved ones also,” said Raymond Hitt of Oliver Funeral Home. “Charlie isn’t like our boss, we feel we are all partners, working to make this time easier for our friends.”
Martha Rogers said she loves working at Oliver Funeral Home.
“We take care of the living as well as those who have passed,” Rogers said. “It is important for family members to know their loved one will be taken care of.”
Rogers has been working at Oliver Funeral Home for several years. She said she loves working for Oliver. She said he has “kept her going” for many years.
“Charlie has been so good to me,” Rogers said. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.”