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Oliver Springs, county mourns Sonny Harvey

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By Cindy Simpson

Sonny Harvey was a man who knew just about every little tidbit of history about the town of Oliver Springs.

Claude Smith “C.S.” Harvey Jr., always known as Sonny, died in Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge Thursday, two days shy of his 83rd birthday.

The historian had lived a very busy life, including his activities as a historian and chairman of the Oliver Springs Historical Society.

“He was like the cornerstone that holds everything together, the inspiration of our group with all the history he knew and his personality and his generosity,” said Pat Crowe, society treasurer.

“He worked so diligently at the history of our town that it is such a loss to everyone. He’s sure going to be missed.”

Added Barbara Brown, “He was really what kept us together, kept us going and kept us focused on our goals.”

State Sen. Ken Yager spoke well of the active Harvey, saying his death “leaves not only a void in the lives of the many people who loved him, but a legacy for us to remember him by.”

“He loved Oliver Springs and his work as president of the Historical Society creates an enduring record for future generations to learn and enjoy the history of the town,” Yager said.

“I will always treasure the time I spent with him at the furniture store — those visits with him and Maxine are priceless. Malinda and I send our heartfelt condolences to his children,” Yager said.

Harvey attended Oliver Springs High School where he met Jennie Maxine Brown Harvey, his wife of 63 years. He operated Harvey’s Furniture and Appliance Co. for 64 years until his death.

A member of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church since 1952 and a lifetime deacon, he was choir director and Sunday school teacher for more than 50 years. He  served as the church’s first youth director for more than 20 years and drove the senior citizen bus.

Harvey was named a Roane County Treasure in 2007. He was a former member of the Roane County Board of Education, the Roane Industrial Board and the Oliver Springs Housing Authority.