Cover photo for Dr. Yvonne Beauford Oliver's Obituary

Dr. Yvonne Beauford Oliver

April 23, 1947 — December 29, 2022

Dr. Yvonne Beauford Oliver

Edwards Small Mortuary announces with our deepest sympathy the passing of Yvonne B. Oliver.  Ms. Oliver entered into eternal rest on December 29, 2022.  She will be missed by family and friends.

Dr. Yvonne B. Oliver, affectionately known as Von, was born on April 23, 1947 in Fort Valley, Georgia. She was the oldest of four children born to the late Sam Beauford and Evelyn Hollis Beauford Billups. She grew up in a Christian home and joined Trinity Baptist Church at an early age. 

Yvonne excelled academically and attended H.A. Hunt High School. During her years at Hunt High she participated in many extracurricular activities: Editor in Chief of the yearbook, clarinet player in the band, a member of the Glee Club, and was President of the National Honors Society. She was Valedictorian of the Hunt High class of 1965. 

After graduating from Hunt High, she chose to enroll at Spelman College. While a student at Spelman, Yvonne participated in a student exchange program at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania during her sophomore year. She graduated from Spelman in 1969. 

Her post graduate studies were completed at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia where she earned a Master’s degree in Sociology and a Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. Her professional career began in 1972, but in 1976, she began her illustrious career at Fort Valley State University where she served in different roles within the Agriculture Research Station including Professor of Sociology and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. She retired after 32 years of service and she established the Yvonne B. Oliver Scholarship for students majoring in the Agriculture or Business Department. 

Dr. Yvonne Oliver received many honors and awards. Her research focused on the social and economic well-being of Black and nonmetropolitan populations in the rural South. She published many journal articles, bulletins and her research is cited in numerous books. Her professional affiliations included: Rural Sociological Society, Southern Rural Sociological Association, Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists, USDA Social Science Committee, Southern Rural Development Center and National Academic Advising Association. 

She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Yvonne was instrumental in getting H. A. Hunt High added to the Georgia Register of Historic Places. 

Yvonne was preceded in death by: Father, Sam Beauford (1984); Mother, Evelyn Hollis Beauford Billups (2015) and Sister, Cynthia Gail Ford (2006). 

Left behind to cherish special memories of her include: her sister, Harriett Walden (Joe), Thomasville, GA; brother, Samuel W. Beauford, Fort Valley, GA; three nieces: Daphanie McKinney (Marcus), Cypress, TX; Stephanie Sherrod (Ven), Plainfield, IL; Andrea Wilkerson (Jerry), Cincinnati, OH; two nephews; James Ford, Jr., Athens, GA; Joseph Walden (Kristin), Seattle, WA; three great nieces; seven great nephews; her beloved three cats; Finn, Parker & Coco; a host of cousins, friends and her Spelman sisterhood.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift in memory of Dr. Yvonne B. Oliver. A donation can be made to the FVSU Foundation’s Yvonne B. Oliver Scholarship Fund or Spelman College. Please see the ways to give below.

 Ways to Give

Please make all checks/money order or cash payable to the FVSU Foundation

Memo line: Yvonne B. Oliver Scholarship

Send to: Att: FVSU Foundation

1005 State University Drive

Fort Valley, GA  31030


Designation: Yvonne B. Oliver Scholarship

Please mail checks to Spelman College

350 Spelman Ln SW, Box 1303, Atlanta GA 30314 or make an online donation at  In both instances, please specify your gift is “In memory of Dr. Yvonne B. Oliver, C’69”.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Yvonne Beauford Oliver, please visit our flower store.
Yvonne Oliver Program.pdf

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Aunt Von’s wishes were for mourners to wear colors of her beloved Spelman College and Fort Valley University, no black.

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