Dr. William Kenneth Oliver, also known to Islanders as “Bill” or “Doc,” passed away on the early evening of August 15, 2019, at Kline Galland Hospice in Seattle, WA.
Bill was born December 2nd, 1930, in Manhattan, New York to William (Ken) and Mable (Mickey) Oliver, both deceased. Bill was preceded in death by his 25-year-old son, Ricky, in 1992, and his wife of 44 years, Sue, in 1998. Bill is survived by his younger brother, Don, (wife Sandy) his children, Mark (and wife, Syd) and Lynn, (and husband, Brian), his grandchildren, Garrett, Sarah (and husband, Broc), Kyle, and Kory (and wife, Kate), his great-grandchild, Stella, and his niece, Beth and four nephews: Eugene, Brian, John & Keith.
Although born in New York, when he was seven years of age, Bill’s family moved to Webster Groves, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, where Bill spent his childhood and teenage years. Bill attended DePauw University (Greencastle, Indiana), where he met his beloved wife, Sue. Bill and Sue married in 1954, while Bill attended St. Louis University earning his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Upon graduation, Bill entered the Navy, as a Lieutenant Jr., and for three years, served as the Navy Dentist at Moffitt Field in San Francisco, where his first son, Mark, was born in 1957, and then later at the Naval Base on the island of Guam, in the South Pacific where his daughter, Lynn, was born in 1959.
In the fall of 1959, upon exiting the Navy, Bill moved the family to Vashon, where he ran a private dental practice for seven years. In 1966, the family temporarily moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Bill reentered graduate school and earned his Masters in Orthodontics. While living in St. Louis, Bill’s 3rd and last child, Ricky, was born in 1967.
For the past half-century, Bill was recognized by many residents of Vashon, as Doc, because at the time, he was the only dentist (and later orthodontist) on the island. Although from Missouri, Dad’s roots are in the heart of Vashon Island.
Bill’s “mantra” was, “Fill your bucket list early.” His sense of travel and adventure were instilled in his family through camping trips, travel, and adventures. Bill also remained close to his Sigma Chi Fraternity brothers and friends at DePauw, and together they planned excursions to many locations around the world including a safari in South Africa, and in his last decade, a cruise to Alaska.
After the loss of his wife, Sue, Bill lived on Lake Union, on his 50-foot Grand Banks, then a smaller Garden Trawler, and then downsized to an RV with which he traveled across the country, including Alaska, and even to Mexico where he lived for a brief time in Puerto Vallarta. The last 10 years Bill lived in a duplex in Kenmore, and finally settled down in an Apartment south of Sea-Tac airport.
At his request, there will be a small, family-only, funeral at Vashon Island Cemetery, where both his wife and son are laid to rest. A celebration of his life, hosted by his two children, Mark and Lynn, will be held next June 2020, at Mark’s house in Port Orchard which for Islanders, is just a ferryboat ride, and a short walk off the Southworth dock. The date and time will be announced in the Beachcomber in early June.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made “In Memory of Dr. William K Oliver,” to the organization of your choice. Kline Galland Foundation at https://www.klinegalland.org/get-involved/donate/ or The Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation at https://washington.providence.org/donate/mount-st-vincent-foundation.