Gayle was born in Carter County to the late Shelby J. Oliver (Jett) and Laura Pierce Oliver. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four sisters, Pauline Hardin, Evelyn Hopkins, Earlene Buckles, Ida Mae Rominger and two infant sisters, Violet and Viola Oliver.
Gayle was a 1957 graduate of Unaka High School where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. During his senior year (1956) he was named the Watauga Conference Player of the Year in football.
He was a United States Army veteran and retired from Siemens after 19 years of service as an electrician. He was a member of Blue Springs Christian Church where he had served as a deacon for many years. Gayle still served as the Sunday School Superintendent and also did the lawn care, custodial duties and was the official “Bell Ringer” at the church. He enjoyed attending the Barn on Stoney Creek with his buddies. Gayle enjoyed farming, gardening and was a big sports fan – especially football.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 61 years, Ona Faye Rominger Oliver, of the home; two daughters, Donna Ellis and husband Sam; Marcia Church and husband Noel, all of Elizabethton; four grandchildren, Andrew Church and wife Jamee, of Knoxville, Alena Church, of Elizabethton, Evan Ellis, and wife Katie, of Connecticut, and Laura Ellis, of Elizabethton; and half-sister, Brenda Oliver and husband Mick, of Elizabethton. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A service to honor the life of James Gayle Oliver will be conducted at 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in the Riverside Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton with Mr. Richard Thomason and Mr. Andrew Church officiating with Evan Ellis providing a eulogy. Music will be provided by Scott Reynolds and Tony Rominger (his nephew). The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM in the funeral home chapel, prior to the service on Thursday or at the residence of his daughter, Marcia Church, 912 Blue Springs Road, Elizabethton.
The committal and entombment will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Friday, September 6, 2019 in the Mausoleum of Peace at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Active pallbearers will be Michael Whisenhunt, Josh Church, Everett Reid, Loren Pierce, Dustin Buckles, Rick Richardson, Greg Heaton and Curt Heaton. Honorary pallbearers will be Mack Collins, Lavern Oliver, Will Bowers, Paul Boyd, Lemmie Taylor, Raymond Williams, Jimmy Eggers, Steve Pierce, Freddie Taylor, Lindsay Rash, Justin Cruze and the men of Blue Springs Christian Church. Those wishing to attend the service are asked to meet at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton at 10:15 AM on Friday, to go in procession.
Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers, may make donations to the Blue Springs Christian Church Fellowship Hall Building Fund, 107 Don Rominger Road, Elizabethton, TN 37643.
Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com . Gayle and his family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton Office 423-542-2232, service information line, 423-543-4917.