Audrey Margaret Houlgrave Oliver, 93 died peacefully at her home in Austin, Texas Tuesday, April 12, 2011 surrounded by family. Visitation will be held Friday, April 15, 2011 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Carnes Brothers Funeral Home, 1201 Tremont Street, Galveston.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 16, 1917 to John Charles Houlgrave and Louise Schmit Houlgrave ; Audrey was preceded in death by her parents and her devoted older brothers Cedric, John Alcus(Al) and Charles (Chili).
Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Louis Lloyd Oliver, her sons, Frank Oliver & wife Ruthie of Austin Texas, David Oliver & wife Virginia of Galveston and her daughter Alison Kelly and husband Dr. Scott Kelly of Jackson Mississippi; grandchildren Andrew Oliver and wife Erin of Austin Texas, Captain William Oliver and wife Yeji of Seoul, South Korea, Maggie Ryals and husband Lee of Birmingham Alabama, Betsy Turley and husband Russell of Jackson Mississippi, Peter Kelly of Jackson Mississippi and Emily Kelly of Jackson Mississippi; and her great grandchildren Kathryn Elizabeth Oliver of Seoul, Finley Grace Oliver of Austin and Hunter Jase Ryals of Birmingham. Other survivors include her beloved sister-in-law Kathryn Knight who was the sister she never had, and nieces and nephews Marcy Vars and husband Jay, Diana Forbes and husband Dean, Brad Smith and partner Myron, Robert Houlgrave and wife Kathy, and numerous others.
Audrey was a child of the depression, but developed a strong sense of humor, style and grace in spite of the times. She graduated from EleanorMcMainHigh School for Girls in New Orleans in 1933. In the later thirties, she moved with her family to Galveston where her brothers worked on the construction of the Amoco plant in Texas City. She was employed as an executive secretary with Union Carbide until she retired to raise a family after marrying Louis in 1949. She later worked as the office manager of Louis’ architectural practice, until his retirement. She kept the books, conducted the correspondence, typed the specifications, made sure deadlines were met, cleaned the office, ran blueprints, fed the troops and maintained order in an utterly chaotic environment. She was critical to her husband's success as an architect. She was at all times gracious and patient.
She was devoted to her family, was always cheerful and positive in good times and bad, tireless in performing her duties, loved animals and was an outstanding cook. Her crab casserole, chicken paprikash, red snapper, Swedish pancakes, frittata, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, fudge, divinity and cinnamon toast were favorites. She always placed the needs of her children at the top of the list. She was a Cub Scout den mother and Brownie Scout leader. She spent countless hours tutoring and helping with homework, book reports, science projects, papers and other parental duties. She loved to work the cryptoquotes, jumbles and crossword puzzles in the newspaper, particularly when she beat Louis in solving them. In any game of hearts, she was a ruthless and cunning competitor. Her favorite pastimes were reading and traveling with her daughter, grandchildren and cunada Kathryn. She drove until she was ninety and rode the exercise bike almost daily until a few months before her death. She loved all animals: cats, birds and especially dogs. She was known to many dogs as the “Cookie Lady”. She will be sadly missed by Rusty, Abby, Oreo/Calpurnia, Jinx, Cooter, Dixie, Pup-Pup, and innumerable island grackles.
Memorials may be sent to any Hospice, any Animal Shelter, or the charity of your choice.
The family wishes to acknowledge the friendship and loving care provided by Audrey’s caregivers Angelica, Roxanne, Nancy, Grace, Wendy and Debra.
In accordance with Audrey’s wishes, the family will hold a private funeral and burial service Saturday.
Friends may sign the register book and send the family condolences at www.carnesbrothers.com/contactus. Please include the Oliver name.