(Courtesy Photo)

Lacey Kirk “Jack” Oliver, a noted Los Angeles businessman, passed away on March 11.  He was 98 years old.

As the founder and owner of Jack’s Chili Factory and Crenshaw Family Inn, Lacey touched the lives of generations of families in South L.A.  The two establishments became treasured institutions among the city’s African American population.

Lacey, who was born in Ruston, Louisiana, moved to Los Angeles in 1948 after serving in the U.S. Marines during World War II.  Obtaining employment at the U.S. Postal Service, Mr. Oliver soon proved to be an enterprising man involved in a range of ventures.

“He was active and opened many businesses, even while working at the post office,” recalled his son, Barry. “He put chitterlings on the market and even Redd Foxx ate some of those chitterlings,” said his son with a laugh.

Lacey’s daughter, Phyllis, said her father was also real estate agent and he began playing golf and learning to swim in his 50s. However, one of her fondest memories of Lacey was the lesson he instilled in his children.

“He was pretty diligent about us doing things the right way. He would say, ‘Do it once – do it the right way,’” Phyllis remembered.

A celebration of Lacey’s life will be held at Angeles Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 5, at 2 p.m.  He will be interned in his hometown of Ruston.

Lacey’s son, Vincent Oliver, preceded him in death. Cherishing his memory are his children, Phyllis (Greg) Williams and Barry Oliver; granddaughter, Nina Oliver; grandsons, Damon Williams, Jason Williams, Jamal Oliver, Vincent Oliver II, Ryan Oliver, and Mychal Oliver; and many other relatives and friends.