On September 26, 2011, Oliver Stengel Grote went to the big ranch in the sky where the pastures are green, the cattle are fat, the corn is cooking, cockscombs are blooming, and he greets family and friends with a twinkle in his eye…and if practical jokes are allowed in heaven, a good time will be had by all. Born on the family ranch in Mason, Texas, on September 29, 1926, Oliver was the fourth son of Marvin and Mary (Stengel) Grote. A 1943 graduate of Mason High School, he enrolled in Texas A&M College, was on the Livestock Judging team, and graduated in 1948. He was always proud to say that he attended 16 more A&M commencements of sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.On December 20, 1947, Oliver married Doris Martha Kasper, finished his last semester at A&M, and then moved back to the family ranch. In 1948 he and his dad founded the first Angus herd in the area and built a solid reputation in the cattle industry. He was a member and former president of the Hill Country Angus Association and a director of the Texas Angus Association, where he represented Texas at the national convention. The drought of the ‘50’s sent Oliver, Doris, and their four young sons to the Texas Panhandle, where Oliver worked for the Texas Farm Association. When conditions improved, the family returned to Mason. Oliver was a charter member of the Mason County Farm Bureau and served as director, president, second vice-president, and field agent. He was a recipient of the Texas Farm Bureau Pioneer Award in 2010.He always enjoyed auctions, estate sales, and the like, and this led to opening his antique store, Country Collectibles, in 1978. Oliver loved to visit with people, and the store afforded him that opportunity. He took pride in promoting Mason County topaz, the state gem of Texas. In the quiet times he was an avid reader and loved books of the Old West, Indians, and Texas Rangers. He also had a passion for gardening, and wherever there was a square foot of vacant land, Oliver would have an abundance of vegetables and flowers, especially cockscomb, growing. He was a past director of Operation Orphans, a former Lion, former President of the Mason Chamber of Commerce, and was recognized as Business Man of the Year. Oliver was active in the Methodist Church, especially the Methodist Men. Youth and their activities were always high on his list. Whether coaching baseball, supporting the Punchers and Cowgirls, or donating props to the One Act Play, Oliver was always eager to help and encourage. He was an active 4-H club leader for many years and attended the National 4-H Congress on their behalf. While unbeknown to most, many, many people benefitted from Oliver’s compassionate nature and willingness to help neighbors and strangers alike.Oliver loved family and cherished his ancestry. To help preserve the heritage of the Grote family, Grote Angus Ranch was entered as a Texas Century Ranch in 1980, and he initiated the writing and publishing of two books. His fondest treasure at County Collectibles was the “Grote Wall” which showcased pictures of all the family. One of his final requests was that along with his sons and their spouses, his nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren all be included by name in his obituary.He is survived by Doris, his devoted wife of sixty-three years, their four sons and their spouses, nine grandchildren and their families. Gary’s family includes his wife Eva, their daughter Nikki Morton, and her son Tucker; and their son Gabe and his wife Liz. Glen’s family includes his wife Diane, Glen’s (and late wife Patty’s) son Will, and his wife Tina, and their son Dillon; and their daughter Shannon Worrell and husband James, and their son Jarrett. Jeff’s family includes his wife Dorothy and their daughter Courtney Garrett and husband Matt, son Austin, and daughter Mason; their son Koy, his wife Sarah, and their daughter Blythe. Warren’s family includes his wife Susan, their daughter Kim Shutt and her sons Tyler and Casey; son Kyle, his wife Shanna, their daughter Sadie and son Sam; daughter Kris Smith, her husband Jason, their son Kolton and daughter Kinley.Other survivors include sister-in-law Lorine Kasper Metz, brother-in-law Rubin Kasper and wife Edna, sister-in-law Mrs. Gordon (June) Grote, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Oliver knew many of his customers on a first name basis, and had many, many friends…some of whom he survived, and some he did not, but he valued them all.He was preceded in death by his parents Marvin and Mary Grote. Also preceding were brother Lee and his wife Maxine, brother James and his wife Louise, and brother Gordon. Additionally, daughter-in-law Patty Boegner Grote, stepmother Edith Bellows Grote, and brother-in-law Lloyd Metz preceded him in death.The family appreciates and acknowledges with grateful hearts the loyalty of Tessa Farmer and all employees of County Collectibles, and the concern and care by the nurses of Country Girls Home Health, the personnel of Mason County EMS, and the staff of Mason Clinic.The celebration of Oliver’s life will be held on September 28, 2011 at First United Methodist Church in Mason at 10 a.m.. Burial will follow in Gooch Cemetery. Reverend Tim Fahrenthold will officiate. Active pallbearers are Jack Asbill, Squeaky Farmer, Dubby Johnson, Wayne Lehmberg, Mike Lindley, and Jim Wilson. Honorary pallbearers will be Rubin Kasper, Alex Grosse, Archie Ray Enochs, Darrell Vines, Methodist Men, friends of the Friday Night Supper Club, and members of the Sunday Morning Breakfast Group. Visitation with the family will be on Tuesday, September 27 from 3-8 p.m. at Mason Funeral Home.Memorials may be sent to Methodist Men of First United Methodist Church of Mason (PO Box 178 Mason, TX 76856), Still Creek Boys and Girls Ranch (6055 Hearne Lane, Bryan, TX 77808), or any organization or charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to the family on-line at masonfuneralhome.net. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mason Funeral Home.