Oliver Sherwood Spencer was born on December 5th, 1968 in Poughkeepsie, New York to his loving parents Sharon Barry and Stephen Spencer. Oliver died on October 2, 2020 after a difficult and dignified experience with cancer.
Oliver spent his childhood living in the towns of Rosendale and New Paltz and his youngest years were influenced by his creative loving mother, caring father, Aunt Barbara and his cousins, and the supportive care of his grandmother Betty. As a child, he attended the SUNY New Paltz Campus School, where he met lifelong friends and learned to be an innovator, independent thinker, and a great play mate, qualities he carried through his entire life.
Oliver attended New Paltz Middle School and High School and made many new friends who were immediately attracted to his kind presence, giant smile, enormous laugh, and hilarious sense of humor. Throughout High School, Oliver could be found getting good grades in class, sinking an awkward jumpshot on the basketball court, sporting a Charlie Lau swing on the baseball diamond, dating several high school sweethearts, and busting moves on the dance floor at Joe’s; of course, he was voted “Nicest Smile” in the yearbook. He graduated High School in 1987 with an interest in city life so he headed off to Boston University to major in Communications. At BU, Oliver continued to accumulate special friendships as he attended an occasional class, joined Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, sold shoes on Newbury Street, hung with many football player buddies, and showcased his magnetic charm and bleached high top fade at parties and nightspots. He graduated from BU in 1991 and made the move to New York City to begin his career.
New York City was the wrong pace for Oliver and he quickly relocated with some New Paltz expatriates to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lived for 25 years. In Raleigh, he pursued a career in sales and marketing and co-founded a creative marketing agency which he ran for 10 years. Oliver’s final years were spent in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he moved to be close to his mother and stayed because he loved the people, the water, the views, the hospitality, and the cuisine.
Oliver had a brilliant and irreverent sense of humor that never let up; making people laugh was something that filled his soul. He also had a propensity for creating hilarious nicknames that stuck on those around him but one never stuck on him. Throughout his adult life, Ollie was part of diverse and vibrant social circles with his penchant for colorful activewear, serious love of food, appreciation for contemporary art, enjoyment of sports wagering, and unorthodox golf swing, all of which he displayed with a genuine enthusiasm that attracted more friends. He was an extremely generous person who was always willing to share all that he had and give completely of himself. Oliver was a charismatic public speaker and larger than life human being that will be deeply missed by the many people who experienced his magnetic presence, heartfelt love, and devout friendship.
Oliver was an amazing storyteller, a great writer, and a wise philosopher who, in his last years, combined those gifts to share some of the most profound and hilarious online posts. These messages were something his friends and followers looked forward to and would read every word as if they were in a reflective, inspiring, and hysterical conversation with Oliver. He updated readers on his illness with humility and gratitude and shared the life lessons he learned through overcoming many personal obstacles.
Through Oliver’s posts, we learned that everybody is just trying to do the best they can and kindness is realizing we are all in this together. He taught us that tough times are not negative experiences but opportunities to put into practice the life lessons we’ve learned over the years. He shared that when an illness is a part of your spiritual journey, no medical intervention alone can heal you. Your spirit must also make the changes that the illness was designed to inspire. Oliver truly believed and lived by the premise that we are all able to heal even though not all of us will be cured.
Oliver is survived by his father Stephen Spencer, aunt Barbara Barry Fanti, uncle Raymond J. Barry, stepsister and stepbrother Blake and Jordan Logan, cousins Dewey and Jed, former wife and dear friend Mechelle Fuquay, and hundreds of friends whose lives Oliver so profoundly affected. He was predeceased by mother Sharon Barry Logan and stepfather Tom Logan.
There are no immediate formal arrangements and Oliver’s life will be celebrated over time by groups of his friends and family.