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Douglas "Doug" Oliver Jr. '82 April 11, 2024 11:18 AM updated: April 11, 2024 11:27 AM

Douglas Eugene "Doug" Oliver, Jr. 

October 21, 1959 - June 12, 2023 

On a warm and sunny Spring morning, June 12, 2023, Douglas E. Oliver passed from this earth to an alternate universe, on to another morning surf break, surrounded by numerous loving family members and friends.

Born on the Island, on October 21, 1959, the firstborn son of Ayre and Douglas Oliver. Like most of us “back in the day”, Doug (“Dougie”, by his close relatives) joined the rest of us surfing the various beach breaks along the Seawall, from The Balinese Room (long gone; Thanks, Ike.), the Flagship (Never “the pleasure pier”), all the way up to the 61st St. Fishing Pier, which was his “home break”, since he lived just down that street for the longest time. Then there was the occasional Spring surf trip down to South Padre Island with his BOI surf buddies.

Knowing him in his high school years, after Weis Middle School, Doug joined his friends in the Concert Choir (Baritone Section Leader) and the Drafting Club, which was then led by our teacher Bill Ryan. He always joked that we were a Drinking club with a Drafting problem.

Whenever there was surf, especially hurricane surf, Doug was the first one in the water, whether after school (sometimes played hooky) or on the weekends when not working at KFC, usually a Dawn Patrol session. Once the surf dropped off in the afternoon, we would hop on our bikes (think ape-hangers and banana seats) and ride up and down the Sewall, visiting whichever friends we would meet along the way, stopping at various convenience stores for cold adult beverages. He graduated from bikes to his beloved Baby Blue Ford Pinto Wagon, which carried us and our boards along many travels down the Gulf Coast, and for many foggy winter nights, just cruising up and down the Boulevard, discussing high school girls and our next surf safari.

After BHS Class of 1978, Doug attended Texas A&M University in College Station, graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree, then moved north to attend Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Master of Architecture Degree. He would later always remark, “How did a surf punk from the island ever get to this point in life?”

After working in Boston and New York City, Doug primarily worked in Houston for most of his architectural career but spent a fair amount of time abroad for client work. PA award winning architect, Doug was a Professor in Practice at Rice University for twenty-five years and also had taught at Texas A&M, The University of Houston, and The University of Texas, Arlington. All of that, in between surf trips to Cabo San Lucas, Fiji, Costa Rica, Port A., and various surf breaks in between.

Doug is survived by his wife Kimberly (Gilbert) along with his former wife Lisa Oliver (Wittig) from Galveston, his younger brothers Craig and Benjy. He was an ever-present father figure to his three step-children, Dade, Zane and Chase as well as his nephews, Ian, Malcom and Joshua. He had numerous cousins, aunts and uncles on the mainland, countless friends and fellow surfers up and down the Seawall, fellow architect colleagues, former students, and faculty friends as well.

A celebration of life will be held Monday, June 19, 2023 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Brookside Funeral Home-Cypress Creek, 9149 Highway 6 North. 


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