Glenn Wayne Oliver, 45, police officer and clown

July 16, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Glenn Wayne Oliver was a clown, a mortician, a police officer, a bus driver, a baker. He also was a balloon deliveryman -- often dressed in his clown garb, red nose and all.

He never missed a chance to crack a joke or to pull off a prank. And he never waived an occasion to make himself the target of humor.

Mr. Oliver, 45, of New Windsor in Carroll County, died Monday of heart failure at Carroll County General Hospital.

"He enjoyed life immensely," said his wife, the former Lois Pusateri whom he married in 1983. "He was always busy."

From 1974 to 1994, Mr. Oliver's main job was as a Baltimore police officer. His assignments included the Central and Southern districts, education and training, and the canine tactical unit.

But when off duty, his entrepreneurial fires burned fiercely.

From the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, he performed as a clown at children's parties and those for adults. He graduated from the Clown College of Ringling Bros. Circus.

He owned Oliverio's Homemade Baked Goods from the mid-1980s until about 1991, a business in which he made rum cakes in his home and supplied them to several restaurants in Little Italy and throughout the city.

He owned and operated Baltimore's Best Balloons, one of the city's first balloon delivery businesses.

He attended mortuary school and briefly worked at a funeral home.

His most recent job was as owner of Westminster Video Productions, where he made an assortment of videos, including training films, depositions, weddings and bar mitzvahs.

"He was always energy," said Ed Smith, a longtime friend. "He would tease you to no end, but then when he was finished he'd always say, 'You know I'm only teasing.' "

A burly man with a quick smile, Mr. Oliver believed in doing things on the spur of the moment, such as following hot-air balloons just to see where they would land. Or, as he did at 1: 30 a.m. Saturday , taking his daughter to a nearby 7-Eleven store for a Slurpee. Saturday was the 11th day of the seventh month and the treats sold for 11 cents.

A Baltimore native and lifelong Maryland resident, Mr. Oliver graduated from Patapsco High School in 1971 and worked various jobs, including one in a Baltimore funeral home, before he joined the city Police Department in 1974.

Mr. Oliver was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the New Windsor Lions Club and was a coach for the Westminster Jaycees softball league.

Lt. Edward Glacken, commander of the canine unit, said Mr. Oliver was good with dogs and enjoyed training officers to work with them.

"He loved the dogs and the training process," Lieutenant Glacken said. "And he kept his sense of humor, which you have to have around here."

Friends and relatives said Mr. Oliver left the pressures of being a police officer behind each day.

"For all of the things he enjoyed doing, the thing he enjoyed doing most was things with his children," his wife said. "That was always his favorite thing."

A Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. John's Catholic Church, 43 Monroe St. in Westminster.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Brittany Oliver and Jennifer Oliver, both of New Windsor, and Dawn Oliver of Terra Alta, W.Va.; his father, Paul Oliver of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; a brother, Richard Oliver of Perry Hall; four sisters, Barbara Murphy of Port St. Lucie, Pamela Ritter of Kingsville, Catherine Travagline of Forest Hill and Michelle Oliver of Owings Mills; and a granddaughter.

Donations may be made to a trust established for Mr. Oliver's children: The Oliver Educational Fund, New Windsor State Bank, P.O. Box 489, New Windsor, Md. 21776.

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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