Natacha Carlene (Johnson) Oliver peacefully passed away at home on December 12, 2021. Friends and family are invited to gather at First Baptist Church of Garland, Texas on Monday, January 3, 2022 for visitation at 1:00 PM and a memorial service to honor her life at 2:00 PM. There will be a reception immediately following the service. Inurnment of her ashes at the columbarium of the Rest Haven Funeral Home of Rowlett will be held at a later date for the family.
Carlene was preceded in death by her parents, Carl Elliot and Natacha Villere (Moore) Johnson. She is survived by her devoted husband of 43 years, Thomas "Tom" Oliver; her brother, Neal Johnson and wife, Christi, of Westcliffe, CO; her son Stephen Taylor and wife, Erin, of Las Cruces, NM; her daughter Jill Idom and husband, J. Patrick, of Plano, TX; and her son David Oliver and wife, Erika Ellis, of Dallas, TX. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Rosa, Amon, and Caleb Taylor; and Fiona and Duncan Idom.
Carlene was born at Dallas Methodist Hospital on December 23, 1947. She was a member of the first graduating class at South Garland High School where she performed in the Southern Belles high kick drill team. She also attended Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison. She married her high school sweetheart and settled in San Antonio where she worked at Frost Bank and gave birth to Stephen. After returning to Dallas, she gave birth to Jill shortly before the end of the marriage.
While employed at First National Bank of Garland, she made a confident, young credit analyst wait for quite a while to visit with her boss for no other reason than his cheeky manner. Luckily for Tom, she agreed to go on a date with him. They formed a new family via marriage on October 7, 1978 with Carlene's two children, and three years later welcomed the birth of their son David.
She went on to serve the students and faculty of Richland Community College of Dallas for 25 years as the Division Secretary for the Developmental Education Department. She was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church's Barnabas Class and a volunteer for the baptismal program under the leadership of beloved pastor, Roger MacDonald, along with Tom. She enjoyed sewing, tatting, and quilting. She was a voracious reader with a particular affinity for mystery novels. Snow skiing was a family pastime, and Carlene loved the mountains ever since her childhood visits to the family's cabin in Colorado. As an avid horticulturist, she nurtured a thriving flower garden. She was a wonderful cook who made scratch dinners every night for her family. She enjoyed eating oysters in any form and loved black pepper beyond sense or reason. She favored the music of Johnny Mathis and the drama of old Western films.
Carlene's blue eyes flashed when she was perturbed (which was rare) and twinkled when she was feeling snarky (which was often). Her black curls turned gray early in life, but with nary a wrinkle until her fifties, the juxtaposition garnered many compliments on her appearance. Her smile was infectious, but she was a reserved and private person. She was open-minded and accepting of everyone. She had an innate sensitivity to the needs of others, and she quietly and generously supported them.
She knew how to be comfortable in her own company and insisted on a tidy and quiet home as a refuge from the loud and fast-paced world. In times of hardship, grief, and pain, she showed admirable fortitude and taught her family by example how to thrive even in the worst of times. Memories of Carlene's inner light will continue to lift up the hearts of those left behind as she enters the Kingdom of her Lord and Savior.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the relief ministry at Friendship House of First Baptist Church of Garland at https://www.fbcgarland.org/friendship-house/ or the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation at https://tnbcfoundation.org/ to honor Carlene's memory.