In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Marilyn J. Oliver, 86

Marilyn J. Oliver, 1933-2020

Marilyn J. Oliver, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Colombia, died Nov. 9, 2020. She was 86.

Oliver was born Nov. 28, 1933, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the late Paul M. and Jean Edens White. She graduated from Daniel Webster High School, Tulsa, and received the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma, Norman. She achieved registered nurse standing in 1957.

After college, she worked as a nurse in Norman and Tulsa Oklahoma; Glorieta, New Mexico; Louisville, Kentucky; and Fort Worth, Texas. While working at the Baptist conference center at Glorieta, she met James Claude Oliver Jr. They were married in 1958 in Tulsa, and Jim entered the ministry, serving churches in Alabama, Ohio and Texas.

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them as missionaries in 1966. Oliver wrote while seeking missionary appointment that while in Girls Auxiliary, a missions organization for girls (now Girls in Action and Acteens), she attended meetings, house parties and rallies. “It was through these efforts of fine leaders that I was awakened to the fact that the world had need of a Savior and missionaries to go and tell.”

The Olivers served 31 years as missionaries to Colombia before retiring to Georgia.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Jim Oliver; daughter, Jeannie Zokan (Chris); sons, Dan Oliver (Michele), Dave Oliver (Eduardo) and John Oliver (Karin); nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Nov. 12, 2020, at The Pinecrest Church, Fayetteville, Ga., with burial at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton.

Read an obituary here.