Gale Oliver, III


Gale Oliver, III, devoted husband and father, died peacefully in his home in Houston surrounded by his loving family on July 10, 2020. He was born in Refugio, Texas on February 13, 1939 to Gale Oliver, Jr. and Frances Hamilton Oliver. Besides his loving parents, Gale was greatly influenced by his maternal grandmother, Clare Wofford Hamilton of Cuero. 

While attending Refugio High School, he was honored his senior year as an All American and All State football athlete, while also winning State in the shot put. During his senior year in Refugio Gale was recruited by Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and accepted a football scholarship to attend Texas A&M University where his father, paternal grandfather and great uncles had attended and received degrees. 

Gale was a three-year letterman as an offensive lineman from 1957- 1959. He was co-captain his senior year and was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 1960 AFL draft. Gale was a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and was an athletic officer on the Corp Staff. He was also a member of the Ross Volunteers, which is the official Honor Guard of the Governor of Texas. He was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1960. 

While he attended Texas A&M, Gale met Gay Chandler, who was attending Sam Houston State University in nearby Huntsville. Gay was a cheerleader, as well as Miss Sam Houston in 1958. She was also named Texas A&M Vanity Fair Sweetheart in 1960. 

Gale and Gay were married in 1961 and they were together while he served in the US Army at Fort Benning, GA and later at Fort Hood, TX from 1961-1963. Following discharge from the army in 1963, he went to work at Ingersoll Rand as a sales engineer. In 1975, he and close friend Ron Laughter started Oliver and Laughter Equipment Co. and in 1998 it became Oliver Equipment Co. Gale retired in 2007 and sold his business to his son, Gale Hamilton Oliver and his partners, who continue to operate and expand the original family owned business. 

Gale served on numerous bank boards, was a member of the Tejas Vaqueros and served as President of Lakeside Country Club in Houston. 

Longtime ambassadors of Texas A&M athletics, Gale and Gay made ‘giving back’ to his alma mater his priority. He is a life-time member of the Letterman’s Association and together, Gale and Gay created two endowed full scholarships, one with the 12th Man Foundation and the other with The Association of Former Students. In 2011, Gale and Gay, joined by Gale’s brothers, Bill, Alex and Robert, honored their parents with a Texas A&M endowed scholarship. He and Gay were members of the 12th Man Diamond Champions Council and were honored in the Family Heritage Hall in the Bright Building on the Texas A&M campus. They were contributors to the Letterman’s Lounge and in 2017, Gale and Gay were inducted into the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Honor. 

Gale is survived by his wife Gay, daughter Kathy and Brian Chandler, and son and daughter-in-law, Gale Hamilton and Tricia Oliver. Also, grandchildren, Parker & Kyle Oliver and three brothers; Bill (& Coylene) Oliver of Bryan, Alex (& Nance) Oliver of San Antonio and Robert Oliver of Cuero; brother-in-law, Jack Roeder. He loved his nieces and nephews, Kristen, Will & Greyson; Clare & Amory; Ron, Rick, Scarlet & Shannon. He particularly loved his many wonderful friends who adoringly referred to him as “Ollie,” all of whom regarded Gale as a man of the highest integrity. He will be forever missed. 

Gale’s family wishes to thank his wonderful and compassionate caregivers, Alicia Pena, Gabriella Agis and Mola Ogunyinka. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that a donation be made to the Alzheimer's Association. Due to current restrictions and safety concerns regarding Covid-19, a private family burial is planned. A church service and celebration of Gale’s life will be held at a later date in the very near future.

 Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Oliver family.