Tom Oliver

Thomas Clayton Oliver “Coach O”, 73, of China Spring, passed away Sunday, November 17, 2019.

Visitation: 6 to 8PM Saturday, November 23rd at Lake Shore Funeral Home.

Funeral Service: 2PM Sunday, November 24th at First United Methodist Church in Waco. Burial will follow at China Spring Cemetery.

Tom was born on December 5, 1945 in Waco to Clayton Liddell and Merle Gene Oliver, the oldest of three children. He attended Southwest Texas State, Temple College, and McLennan Community College where he received an Associate’s Degree.  He graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Political Science.  He was a member of Phi Alpha Theta International History Honor Society. He obtained his teaching certificate through the Education Service Center, Region 12.

From 1976 to 1991, Tom worked for J. S. Barnett, Inc. as store manager and in sales.  He began substitute teaching at LaVega ISD and China Spring ISD and was an assistant football coach at H. P. Miles Middle School in 1994 and later served on the school board for LaVega ISD.  He began teaching and coaching at China Spring ISD in 1995 and retired in 2015, after twenty years. He continued to support his beloved Cougars by substitute teaching and following their successes in the classroom and any field of competition.

Following a first date on New Year’s Eve, Tom married Sherry Ivy, with whom he shared twenty-four years of laughter, teasing, but mostly love for each other, their blended family, friends and community.  Tom always let his students and fellow coaches know that he was there for them, supported and believed in them, and was always available for a prayer, kind word, and advice.  Coach O was a much-loved member of the China Spring and LaVega communities, as well as everyone whose life he touched.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Trace Doty.

He is survived by his beloved wife Sherry; sons, Steven Oliver and wife Christine, Jeff Oliver and wife Candice, Brian Ivy and wife Holly, Michael Ivy and wife Kimmy; grandchildren, Tyson, Taylor, Jace, Morgan, Layne, Victoria, Paige, Braden, Austin and Colton. “Pawpaw” will be extremely missed by all his grandchildren.  Tom is also survived by his siblings, Donald Paul Oliver and Connie Gene Doty; niece, Amy Hodges and nephew, Kyle Doty; numerous cousins; and special loved ones, Brenda Hoffman, Janet MacNealy, Jill Shinault, and Darrin Hoover.

The family wishes to express their thankfulness to their church, school, community and everyone at Baylor Scott and White Hospital-Waco for their loving care during Tom’s short, courageous battle with cancer.

Pallbearers will be his sons, Steven Oliver, Jeff Oliver, Brian Ivy, Michael Ivy; grandsons Tyson Oliver, Jace Oliver, Braden Ivy, Austin Ivy, Colton Ivy; and dear friends, Josh Gregory and Rodney Outlaw.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to China Spring United Methodist Church, the Thomas C. Oliver Scholarship fund through the China Spring Athletic Booster Club, or the China Spring Education Foundation.

Place of Service: First United Methodist Church of Waco , 4901 Cobbs Drive; Waco, TX 76710



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Condolence Messages

  1. One of my favorite guys that I have met from Waco area! We are so sorry for your loss, but he was a great guy that had a tremendous influence on kids and parents and grandparents. We are the grandparents of Landan Hensley, and we missed very few games when he was Landans coach. We loved him . We are praying for comfort and peace for all of the family. I can see his infectious smile as I am writing this.

  2. I want to send my prayers to the Oliver family for the home going of their love one. He was a true treasure to everyone who’s lives he touched. He was a part of both of my children’s lives and I feel that they are better for knowing him. He was also a co-worker of mine and I am glad to say I knew him. He has gone to a better place where he will be waiting to welcome all his love ones. God Bless.

    • Tom was a really good man and a really good coach. Having coached against him for many years, I knew when we competed against a China Spring JH football team we would be in for a real tussle. Tom truly cared about the kids that he coached, and I know he touched many lives. We had some really good talks over the years and he will be greatly missed.

  3. I love you both and miss you both – what a kind, sweet man he was! Praying for strength and comfort during this very difficult time-

    Sandy Ermoian

  4. Prayers for peace and comfort. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Im sorry for the family of Coach O. He was one of the biggest player in shaping my life and i will forever be in debt to him

  6. Rest in peace Coach O. You were a big influence in my life! My prayers and thoughts to your family.

  7. Rest in Heaven Coach O…
    What a great man you were! Thank you for all that you did for Tyler & Tanner. They loved you so much. I was so blessed to have worked with you at CSMS those 7 years.

  8. Stacy (Farney) Slone

    Coach O was a wonderful man. His loving legacy lives on in his children. He instilled faith, compassion and love in all of us fortunate enough to have worked with him.
    Y’all are in my prayers,
    Stacy

  9. My condolences for the family. Coach Oliver was a very kind, loving and amazing person and friend. My family knew him outside of school, so having him in school was even better. He will always be remembered and has made a permanent mark on not just myself but a few of my kids that had the pleasure of meeting him at China Spring ISD.

  10. Nothing but love and respect for this amazing man he always pushed people to be their best. Not only in sports but in life he will be forever missed

  11. Such a wonderful, sweet and influencial man. My boys were both blessed enough to have him for a coach and a teacher. I know every person that had him in their lives knows how lucky they were. My love and prayers to the family.

  12. Karen & Robert Frazier

    Prayers and grace for your family during this very difficult time.

  13. Kelly Kornegay and Family

    Sherry and family…

    I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of Tom/Coach. Please accept our condolences and may our prayers help comfort you.

  14. Mrs.Oliver and family I am so sorry for your loss.Coach O was a great and wonderful man.You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.God bless all of you.

  15. Coach Oliver’s family, and China Spring Family, I’m so very sad to learn of his passing. Coach was so very special to my son and to me, alike. Praying for comfort of many, especially the family during this time of grief. Cindy, & Zachary Ramsey.

  16. Gay Smitham Collins

    Dear Oliver Family, I was so sad to hear of Tom’s illness and his rapid passing. To me, he will always be Tommy Oliver, so it’s difficult to write about Tom. We grew up together in Lorena, at Lorena United Methodist Church and were classmates through high school. His dad was a coach and taught as well, so it was only natural that Tommy grew up to be a coach! He was one of the nicest guys and I know he is loved and will be missed by many – especially those who were fortunate enough to have their lives influenced and enriched by him. Praying for the family.

  17. So sorry Sherry and family.He was a great man he will be missed.

  18. I’m so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a wonderful coach and mentor to so many. The Oliver/Ivy family are in our thoughts.

  19. Doug, Alison, Michael, and Alex Froneberger

    Sherri and Tom Oliver were two of the first people we met when we moved back to Waco. I had the pleasure of teaching at the middle school with them and Coach O taught both of my sons. He was a kind man and had great influence on our kids. Our family sends our love and prayers to all of you at this time.

  20. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day, Sherry. Although I did not know Tom for a long time, every meeting I encountered with him was a delight. What a man of God he was, as he radiated the love of God in his words and actions toward others. How blessed I was to know him. I am comforted in knowing Tom is with his Lord and Savior and we will meet again. All my love to you, Sherry.

    Pam Gipson

  21. The death of Coach “O” is a great loss to our community. He was a kind and helpful man to our two grandsons whom he coached.

  22. I didnt know him well but my boys have very fond memories of him. They talked about him often. He was a well liked teacher and coach and will be greatly missed.

  23. Baylor Scott & White Hospice

    Dear Oliver Family,
    The Baylor Scott & White Hospice team is thinking of you at this time. Thank you for allowing us to care for Mr. Oliver and please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  24. My prayer’s and thought’s are with you Sherry and family . He truly was loved by everyone who knew him. He will be missed.

  25. Marilyn Ondrej
    Sherry, I am sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a good man. I remember when you 2 met & started dating. I met Tom in 1976. I kinda felt like he was my big brother. We. Were all like family & he will be truly missed. Prayers for you & the beautiful family you & Tom shared. RIP Tom.

  26. Lynzi Williams Arnold

    My prayers for comfort and many precious memories recalled of this fine and very talented man. He was a powerhouse coach! He was a great dad to my friends.
    God’s Grace surround and comfort each of you.
    My love and friendship,
    Lynzi Arnold. (LyndaWilliam)

  27. Larry and Shela Havard

    To the Oliver Family,

    Sherry–Shela and I are remembering you in our prayers. We respected Tom a lot. It was fun battling him in football, basketball, and track. Most of all I enjoyed talking with him. We’ve missed him here at Lorena since he retired, but much bigger now. Thinking of you.

    Coach and Shela Havard

  28. Coach Oliver touched all of our lives in CS
    , we are praying for The Oliver family . God Bless . From The intermediate Kitchen staff

  29. John & Diana Engelke

    Dear Oliver Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  30. So sorry for your loss, you and yours are in our thoughts and prayers. Sharon & David Tierce

  31. Deepest condolences from the entire Gatlin family. Coach o was always the best to my girls and kind to everyone he met. My heart goes out to you all

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