Mrs. Phyllis Oliver
March 14, 1932 – March 24, 2020
Phyllis Ann Oliver, 88, of Greenville, wife of the late William Oliver, passed away Tuesday, March 24, 2020. In her 88 years on this earth, not one day of Phyllis Ann Oliver/Big Mama’s life was wasted. Whether it was as a young girl playing with her cousins— who were more like siblings— or a young wife and mother learning how to create meals out of the few things in her kitchen she made the best of things. Phyllis/Big Mama engineered her life thinking of others and helping to provide for her household between working at Woolworth, JC Penney, and being a stay-at-home Mom. Her provisions went beyond the material, she brought nourishment to the souls and spirits of her children and anyone she met. And there was also her mastery as a “bargain shopper”. She took this to another level by finding great deals for pennies, as she shopped year-round for Christmas. This was done to assure not one person left her home without a present during the season, not even the mail man! Phyllis/Big Mama was on a first-name basis with most of the staff at her local Bi-Lo grocery store. She would stretch her budget and tuck away money in one of those many hidden compartments of her purse until the faces of the dollar bills were unrecognizable— to later be used as a financial blessing to her children, grandchildren and others. From her purse to her pantry she quietly aided her adult children until they were on their feet.
She rose early to care for her household, to sometimes find her children’s friends sleeping on the living room floor or chairs from the night before. She made her home a refuge for many and lived a life of integrity before all. She had a way of making each child feel as if they were the only one. Of course, then there was her baking—which words cannot do justice to the effortless artistry of preparation and execution. Her slender fingers caressed the spatulas as she prepped, frosted, battered, and blended; fingers that could shape a perfect pan of biscuits that would melt in your mouth. She maintained her youthful and slender figure, however, as a grandmother exercising to Richard Simmons.
Her quiet demeanor was loud with love. Her selfless giving was contagious and admired. How she performed acts of kindness without the greed of attention was intriguing. She had a way of presenting unsolicited advice without being intrusive while still implanting seeds of wisdom—with the hope one would choose to do the right thing. Her meekness as a wife was the virtue of patience having its perfect way, which steered her life toward pleasing God as He sculptured her into His image. Phyllis Ann Oliver, she was a force to behold as she held many people close without them losing who they were or yet to be. On March 24th, 2020, Jesus requested the presence of her company in His heavens. He had a table set before her in the presence of her God and those that went before her: Husband of 64 years, William (Hobba Jack) Oliver; her mother, Arethel (Tis) Sullivan; her father, James (Jim) Cook; an infant daughter; a son, William (Tootabug) Oliver; a grandson, Benjamin Ross Oliver; and a slew of relatives and friends who greeted her entrance. She no longer had to imagine what it would be like to walk by her Savior’s side as He escorted her into eternal life.
Phyllis Ann Oliver, you have truly left a Legacy of Love as a compass for each of us to live our lives with dignity and in the values of the God you exemplified. God has sprinkled your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren across this country. We cannot, and will not, hid what you have invested in us under a bush—we will allow that light to shine to impact our households and all those we meet. We are your inheritance and so honored to accept this charge to glorify God on earth as it is in heaven.
We are grateful to call you Mom, Big Mama and Grandmama…
A family graveside service is planned, and a public memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Her children: William Henry (Tootabug) Oliver; Arethel (Penny)Oliver; Dovis (Debbie) Oliver (Harry); Annie (Kitty) Oliver; Gail Griffin; William (Jug) Oliver (San); Waymond (Fuzzy) Oliver and Rosa (Pinky) Oliver-Bellamy.
Her Grandchildren, Great Grands: Trice Grove (Vince) - Mackenzie & Madie; Alan Oliver (Tanya) – Blake; Damion Oliver (Erica); Jeffrey Oliver (Nikki) – Jah’Nasia, Marcus, Nicholas & Owen; Chastity Jones (Jazzezz) - Marquell, Kaitlyn, Kayden & Kelsey; John Glenn; Benika Young – Gideon; Michael Thomas JR (Monique)- Laila & Micah; Bridgette Sullivan (Santos); Johnette Alcon – Ashton; William-Wesley Ross Oliver (RaKeisha) - Miana, Benjamin & JaQuavius; Kayla Promise (Khiaro) - Quincey & Landon; Reggie Epps – Malik; Shammond Williams (Lynn) - Shammond Jr. & Aniston; John (Zulu) Young -John Jr.; Phillip Griffin; Blair Bellamy– Ahmiyah, Makai & Saige; Ashlee Griffin; Kristina Griffin; Innika Chambers – Q’nique, Brooklyn & Londyn; Zarai Williams; Julian Oliver; Dana Kerns; Paulette Owens; Leonard Davis; Curtis Davis; Robin Ray; Ronnie Davis; Marquise Oliver
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mrs. Phyllis Oliver
March 30, 2020
I love you Bigmoma so very much! I know you are in a better place and I am so happy that you are again your true strong self. I know you are smiling, talking and doing all the things that you loved to do. I will miss your smile, your tight hugs and your calming ways. You were not just the best grandmother ever, you were a teacher, a protector, and my rock. You taught me so many things and I will always cherish the memories of our Black Friday Shopping, organizing the sales papers for our shopping adventures, and all your delicious food... the best food that anyone can make …. breakfast, dinner and desserts... cakes and pies and so much more. You were truly the kindest person in the world and you made a difference in every person's life that you touched. I Love You So Very Much!! Give Papa a big hug from me.
Sharon & Duffie Chappell
March 28, 2020
MS. Oliver was my second mother growing up. She made my wedding cake and it was gorgeous and delicious. She helped to make my wedding day special and helped my mother plan and prepare my reception. I thank God for her, and I know she is resting in peace in heaven.
March 28, 2020
To my God sisters and brothers, thank you for sharing Big Momma with me for sooo many years,
Big Momma treated me like one of her own, She shared her love, words of wisdom and the best of hugs to me a lot of times daily.
Oh yeah, I remember being scolded also.
Big Momma understood me and showered my pain with love and gentleness.
Sleep on Big Momma in God's arms, I'll see you on the other side.
March 28, 2020
To the Oliver family from the Upton family we love you and our prayers are with you your family. I have a wonderful memory of your mother, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of Ms. Oliver with San we were coming from a fellowship, she was so gentle in her speech to us, I enjoyed her softness and wisdom. I love you all and may God bless you for the legacy that she has left. Shirl Upton
March 27, 2020
You left us with grace and dignity
You show us what it mean to love unconditionally .I will miss you everyday.I promise you .That your grandchildren and your great grandchildren will know how much they are love by you. Following your love of God and others.
Thank you for being my mom.
Bennie and Doris Richardson
March 26, 2020
I will never forget all the love your mom showed me when I was growing up. She was like a second mom to me and others.
Sending my condolences and praying for God to comfort the family at this time.