Oliver Ervin Schaefer, 80, of Greenville passed away peacefully surrounded by him family at 3:32 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis. Oliver was born October 2, 1939 in Granite City, IL to the late Ervin and Helen Schaefer.
Oliver married Delores Marmion in 1961 in Granite City and together they had five children: Sherry (Greenville), Debbie Sebastian (Ansin) of Danville, KY, Julie of St. Louis, Richard (Natalie) of Jacksonville, FL and Robert Schaefer (deceased at birth). They later divorced. Oliver married Marilyn Frith in 1997. She survives.
The son of an Oliver farm equipment dealer, Oliver was raised on a farm in Granite City. He came to Bond county in 1963 to raise a family and farm. He worked at Bond Equipment, later becoming part owner in the Oliver dealership. He then began managing several Shell service stations and then the Amoco station.
At the same time he was designing and building tractor pull sleds as a side-line job that soon became a full-time job that involved the entire family. Running several sleds at a time, the business allowed him to travel around the country and take his family with him. He got out of the sled business in the mid 1990s and focused on trucking and Oliver tractor parts.
His background in the Oliver world has made him known worldwide. He served as the president of the Hart-Parr Oliver Collectors, a member of the Hartland Oliver Collectors and was the driving force in the founding of the American Farm Heritage Museum.
Oliver leaves behind his four children and two stepchildren: David Frith of Troy, IL and Janice Hughes of Lake St. Charles, MO. He leaves two grandchildren: Candice and Cody as well as step-grandchildren: McKinnley, Mikaelie & Tucker Hughes; Jeremy & Josh Frith. Brothers: Leonard & Leroy – Granite City, William – Highland, Walter – Greenville (Deceased). Sisters: Betty Buehrer (Deceased), Leona Stines – Pearland, TX
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at Smith Grove Baptist Church with Pastor Matt Mendenhall and Darryl Bolen officiating. Interment will follow in Smith Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the Farm Heritage Museum, 1395 Museum Ave., Monday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials at the Bradford National Bank to the American Farm Heritage Museum Oliver Memorial Fund.