In Loving Memory:

Albert Julian Oliver, Jr.
1920 - 2011


Albert Oliver, long time resident of Livermore, passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on June 24, 2011.

Born in Maywood, IL on August 20, 1920, Albert was the son of Albert Julian Oliver Sr. and Harriet Whimsett Oliver. 

Albert began studying the violin in elementary school and soon became a lover of classical music. He played the violin throughout high school and at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, MI, and later at Grinnell College in Iowa.

In early 1942, Albert was awarded his BA from Grinnell a few months early in order to enlist in the Army Air Corps' meteorology program. 

During the war, Albert was stationed at the Panama Canal. At the time, the Air Corps used their new (top secret) radar systems to detect incoming aircraft only. However, operators noticed that their screens picked up more than just aircraft. Wondering if the extraneous information would be helpful for the air base's weather station, a person with a background in meteorology was requested. As a result, Albert became one of the first persons ever to utilize radar for the purpose of interpreting weather patterns.

In 1946, Mr. Oliver began his career at the Lawrence Radiation Lab in Berkeley, as the operator of the 184" cyclotron.

In 1950, he married Jane McCloud of Omaha, NE, and the two moved to Pleasant Hill. James Albert was their first born in 1951, then Barbara Jane in 1953. 

Meanwhile, Albert resumed playing the violin and performed in the orchestra that became the Diablo Symphony. He also was an avid photographer and enjoyed developing and printing his own photographs.


Albert transferred to the new lab in Livermore and the family relocated there in 1956. In 1962, he was granted a patent for fine grain nuclear emulsion.

By this time, Albert had been playing violin in quartets regularly with Arnold and Marion Clark and David Walter. It could be said that this quartet became the nucleus of the Livermore-Amador Symphony.

In 1963, Albert auditioned for the symphony in the Clarks' living room. The orchestra began rehearsing that year and Albert performed in nearly every concert from 1964 to 2007, switching from violin to viola in later years.

After the passing of his wife Jane, Albert married Gail Starkey in 1988. In retirement, Albert participated in summer chamber music workshops throughout the state, enjoyed digital photography and continued to participate in a book group that he and Jane had joined many years earlier.

Albert is survived by son James of Livermore, daughter Barbara Coffey (Stuart) of Salem, OR, stepdaughter Eva Starkey of Sebastopol, stepson Michael Starkey of Santa Rosa, step-granddaughter Regina Starkey-Schmidt, and step-grandson Jules Starkey-Schmidt.

He is preceded in death by his parents and by Jane Oliver and Gail Starkey Oliver.

 'Music and Memories of Al' will be held on Saturday, July 9 (2011) at 11:00 a.m. in the "Seasons" room at Alden Lane Nursery - 981 Alden Ln. Livermore, CA.

Memorial donations may be made to the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association, P.O. Box 1049, Livermore, CA 94551, or:



Memories of Al Oliver

KRON-TV's Science In Action ‎(09/28/1959)‎

(Al's segment begins at 14:27)

Sign and view Albert's Guest Book

For more information, contact:

        Jim Oliver
        Livermore, CA