Joe in his Marine dress blues
Joseph Henry Rivers
  • 67 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 3, 1947
  • Date of passing: Feb 22, 2015
"Let the memory of Joseph be with us forever"

A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, June 11 between the hours of 4 and 6 PM at LaVigne Funeral Home in Winooski.

He will be laid to rest at 1PM on Friday, June 12 at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph.

 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Lloyd Hulburd on 22nd February 2016

"Spent the last several days thinking about you, Rios. See you on the other side!! Peace!"

This tribute was added by John Joachim on 22nd February 2016

"Cousin Joe when you saw him would bring a smile to each of our faces, I'm sure he is smiling down on all of us."

This tribute was added by Lloyd Hulburd on 4th August 2015

"Happy Birthday, Rios"

This tribute was added by Bill Magnus on 7th June 2015

"Joey, as I aways called him, and I hooked up in the latter years of high school. He was a fabulous athlete that I watched as often as I could from the sidelines. He and I really found each other after his senior year as he was not sure what to do and I had been asked by UVM to take a vacation. We started the vacation in the summer of '65 as crew on my father's boat on a trip up the locks of the St. Lawrence to our destination, Ottawa. When we got there, although we had a good time and an interesting new way to see the area, it was obvious to us that this wasn't the trip for us, so we caught a bus back to Burlington. We had already signed up for the Marine Corps with an October departure date. The rest of the summer we palled around trying to stay out of trouble till we jumped on the train to boot camp. I can remember sitting on the bus at Paris Island with the drill instructor screaming at the recruits on the bus and Joe and I finding this quite comical. We were hard pressed not to laugh which would have been disastrous for our 6 wks there. As it turned out we made the grade without much fanfare. Joe impressed them with his running which was important for the platoon competitions. I even though he might be good enough to be kept for that purpose but that was not meant to be. Bodies in Viet Nam was the general order of the day. After Paris Island we went to Camp Lejeune in NC for more training. We left there in time to get home for Christmas our last Christmas before deploying.. After Christmas we went to Camp Pendleton for more training before we went to Viet Nam. Joe most have gotten a different MOS because I don't remember him there with me on a daily basis. When we shipped out I think he ended up with a CAP unit, where you are stationed in a small outpost with Vietnamese soldiers. I saw him only once while in country (although we wrote each other) just after some tough situation where his support had left him and the other Americans when push came to shove. It was not a safe job as they go, I remember seeing his outpost destroyed and him barely making it out alive. After that we lost touch. I knew he made it home and that was a big relief for me. I felt, for this chapter in our lives, like his big brother so his safe return was very important to me.
Joe was such a great guy, so easy to get along with and quick with a smile, everyone loved him. The world couldn't afford to let him go. Around 2000 I heard from him and we met up. He was asking about jobs  so he could relocate to VT. My wife and I tried to help but apparently UVM was a better fit.
I will, and do miss him, and have ever since our separation. He made me a happier person.
My condolences to all the family. I don't know any of you but feel your loss.
Semper Fi, my brother."

This tribute was added by Leslie warren on 22nd April 2015

"Joey....my wonderful....Joey...I did not know until tonight that you passed away??!!
My high school sweetie. My husband passed 4 years ago and in my bank of memories, you lurk.
I looked you up tonight and learned of your passing. "Little Child" the Beatles, dancing, games, high school great times! My love and hugs.
Leslie Carlson Warren"

This tribute was added by Lloyd Hulburd on 3rd March 2015

"My Friend, Rios
Shared by Lloyd Hulburd on 03/02/2015
Toni and Joe’s extended family - I am heart broken by the loss of my high school good friend, Joe Rivers. Joe and I played Little League Baseball together as eleven and twelve year olds and continued the friendship through high school and beyond.  So many memories have washed over me in the past week.  Watching Joe run Xcountry and track or attacking the basket along the baseline allowed me the opportunity to see one of the era’s greatest high school athletes in action.  Who can forget his track records in the mile (4:23) and two mile or his two Xcountry state championships followed up by a second place finish in the New England meet late in the Fall of 1965?  During the winter months Joe played basketball for Coach Burke. I can still see him driving the baseline and pulling up for a short jumper to add two more points to the thirty-four he scored against Spaulding High School his senior year. More important than his athletic accomplishments, Joe was a very sensitive and caring human being filled with joy and a “rascals” sense of humor. The pranks pulled on friends and faculty will be forever kept secret.  Riding the bus from the south end to BHS our junior and senior years, practice with “EJ,” lunch period in the cafeteria, hanging out in the front lobby after school, Friday night dances in the cafeteria with “Rabbit,” Perky, Leslie and Mona, and Saturday night parties are just a few of my fond memories.  I will carry these joyous moments with me to the grave.  God speed, “Rios.”"

This tribute was added by Tony Akey on 2nd March 2015

"I knew Joey Rivers from his time at Barney Point in Colchester, hanging out with the McKenzies and Akeys.  Joe was 6 years older than me and his athletic prowess, especially in cross country was the stuff of legends. The older kids never had much time for us younger twits, but Joey was always nice to me and I admired him from afar. I'm so sad to learn his early passing.  Way too young, but from the sound of it, he leaves the people who knew him best feeling loved and better for having known  him. I hope heaven is as pretty as Vermont Joey.  Peace and Love, Tony Akey"

This tribute was added by Michael Rivers on 27th February 2015

"My baby brother, Joe Henry Rivers passed away on February 22, 2015.

To Toni, Nicole, AJ and Gracie, we send our love and prayers.  We all lost a very special person:  Partner, father, grandfather, brother, friend. We are missing him and he will always be in our hearts.
Brother Mike and Dr. Shar"

This tribute was added by Wayne Conner on 26th February 2015

"I had not seen or heard from Joe for almost 50 years until I saw him on FB in late January. I sent him a friend request and he accepted it almost right away. We exchanged some memories of our high school times and then he was gone. I will always remember him as an incredible athlete and a good humored gentleman! Knowing that he was a Marine in Vietnam speaks highly to the kind of man he turned out to be. My condolences to his entire family and tha many friends who were close to him."

This tribute was added by robert rivers on 26th February 2015

"Uncle Joe, from Cam Rivers
Best memories I have is the excitement of knowing the Zamboni driver at the UVM games when I was a kid. Another one is Uncle Joe cheering for me when my High School Jazz Band was playing on Church Street, yelling"check 'em Cam! Check'em!"
Hockey, Jazz band, what's the difference anyway!?
And of course, memories of the epic wiffle ball games and last summer meeting Nicolle.  I am glad to have known Uncle Joe."

This tribute was added by Duane Davis on 26th February 2015

"Sir you dint know me and I didn't know you. But you fought for this country and that makes you my hero. Rest in peace soldier."

This tribute was added by Larry Tuxbury on 25th February 2015

"We lost a really good guy this February 22. I hadn't seen Joe for over 40 years, then one day about three years ago he showed up for the "Turkey Bowl", at Smalley's Park. He was the same good guy that I remember from the last time that I saw him all those 40 plus years ago. You don't have to see a person that often to still miss him. I'll miss you Joe. River's family, I'm so sorry for your loss."

This tribute was added by Nancy Geiger on 25th February 2015

"My sincere condolences to Toni and your families.  I feel blessed to have known Joe.  He was such a kind, sincere man with a radiate smile.  You all are in my prayers."

This tribute was added by Lois Blackburn on 25th February 2015

"Honored to have known him! My thoughts are with the family."

This tribute was added by John Joachim on 25th February 2015

"Joe was a true individual, but always reminded me of his father.  As kids there was not another place like the River's house.  I will miss the times I had been able to talk with Joe in recent years.  I know as the other tributes say that he was a caring friend and father."

This tribute was added by Bob and Madz Hunter on 25th February 2015

"Hour sincere condolences"

This tribute was added by e trono on 25th February 2015

"Looking back over the years I remember meeting Joe at Bert's house when he was courting my darling niece!!  Years went by and Joe became part of our lives again. So as tears flow but fond memories will remain forever. My heartfelt sympathy to Toni, children and grandchildren."

This tribute was added by Richard Hobin on 24th February 2015

"Your light will shine through you children and their children. Thank you for bringing us Nicole one of my dearest friends. You honored us with that gift."

This tribute was added by Megan Cavolo on 24th February 2015

"As we grow older, we tent to worry more and more about our parents, I never had to worry about my mom with Joe by her side. They loved each other deeply, you could see it in there eyes, laughter and behavior towards one another. Joe took excellent  care of my mom, and my mom took excellent care of him, this is what true partnership looks like.and as a recently married women,somthing I looked up too.. Joe thank you for making my mom smile, brightening her day, and being by her side. I have never seen her as happy as she was with you. I now promise to take excellent care of her, until its time for the two of you to meet again. My deepest sympathy goes out to Joe's children and grandchildren. Thank you for  sharing him with my mom. I know it meant the world to her."


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