Oliver R. Southard died at Franklin Carillion Hospital in Rocky Mount, VA on March 25, 2023. He was born on September 25, 1936 to the late Willie Mae Glover Southard and Charles Vinton Southard, Sr. in Mount Crawford. He grew up in Bridgewater and lived most of his life in the Harrisonburg area. On May 31, 1959, He married Sandra Thacker, who preceded him in death.
Oliver was in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany from 1960-1962. He was stationed in Wackernheim at McCully Barracks with the 630th Ordnance Company, 40th Artillery Group, as a military policeman.
Oliver worked for Douglas Pearce Recapping for about 11 years. He also worked for the U.S. Postal Service, DuPont in Waynesboro, and Dale Wegner Chevrolet. From 1970 until retirement, he was self-employed. He was licensed as an electrician, plumber, used car dealer, and realtor. As a partner in Sundance Properties with his brother Maynard, he built hundreds of vacation homes in Virginia. He also built rental properties in Lexington and Broadway and a number of single-family homes throughout Rockingham county.
In 1977, Oliver and his family began spending time at Smith Mountain Lake where he enjoyed boating and water skiing. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of cars and could fix just about anything that had an engine. He owned and drove over 100 cars in his life and spent much of his spare time and his retirement years working on cars, particularly antiques. He was especially proud of a 1957 Pontiac, which he restored in 1995, just in time for his 40th Bridgewater High School reunion. He was a NASCAR fan (as long as the winner was not driving a Toyota), and he spent his 74th birthday racing his son, Bryan, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and averaging over 146 mph.
Oliver was a member of the Harrisonburg Fraternal Order of Eagles and a past member of the Harrisonburg Moose Club. As a child, he attended the Bridgewater Methodist Church.
Besides his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Charles, Jr. and his sister, Phyllis Tutwiler. He is survived by his son, Bryan, and daughter-in-law, Patricia; his daughter, Teresa; one grandson, Joshua Jackson, his wife Breea, and three great grandchildren; his brother, Maynard; his sister Janice Chapman; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by a great group of friends, including Bob Minnich, Jim Simmons, Dave Emswiler, Tom Hanlon, and Nolan McCone.
A funeral service will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Johnson Funeral and Cremation Service in Bridgewater, followed by burial at Oak Lawn Cemetery. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends, starting at 1 PM, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department or the Rockingham County SPCA.