- Cullman, Alabama

October 30, 2012

Restaurateur Olen Dover dies at age 67

By Benjamin Bullard
The Cullman Times

HANCEVILLE — Olen Dover, who once owned one of the most popular places to eat in Hanceville, passed away Sunday. He was 67.

Dover and his wife, Betty, have for years been recognized and respected for the investments they’ve made in Hanceville, both as business owners and as residents. Olen Dover operated Seafood World on Ala. Highway 91 — often a destination for diners who’d make the drive to Hanceville from well outside of town — from 1987 until he retired from the business in 2008.

Friend and Hanceville council member Joann Walls said Monday she’ll remember Dover as a gentle and quiet person who never sought credit for the hard work he did to leave a positive mark on the people and places whose lives his family touched.

“I’ve said this before, and I said it to him: he’s one of the few people I’ve known who — wherever he goes — he leaves things better than he found them,” said Walls. “He’s always been that way. Everything he had his hand in looked better once he’d come in contact with it.

“He was more of a behind-the-scenes type of person, making sure that things got done — but he made sure that things were done right, and he did it without hurting anybody; without crossing people or hurting their feelings. I never, in all the time I’ve known him, ever heard him say a negative thing about anybody. That’s Olen — you just liked to be around him.”

The Dovers moved to Hanceville in the late 1970s, and have remained involved in civic life there, growing with the city.

Mayor Kenneth Nail described Dover as “a gentleman” whose passing will leave Hanceville’s civic culture a little poorer than before.

“Olen was the kind of guy who, if someone here was in need, he would help them — a kind person. Putting aside all the good that he and his family have always tried to do, at the end of it all I can really say that Olen was just a very kind man, and a gentleman. What more would you want to be able to say about a person than that? It’s a loss for a lot of folks here, and for our city.”

Funeral services for Olen Dover will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Hanceville Funeral Home chapel. Click here for information regarding funeral arrangements.