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.


Posted by Lloyd Hulburd on February 22, 2016
Spent the last several days thinking about you, Rios. See you on the other side!! Peace!
Posted by John Joachim on February 22, 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.
Posted by Lloyd Hulburd on August 4, 2015
Happy Birthday, Rios
Posted by Bill Magnus on June 7, 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.
Posted by Leslie warren on April 22, 2015 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
Posted by Lloyd Hulburd on March 3, 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.”
Posted by Tony Akey on March 2, 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
Posted by Michael Rivers on February 27, 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
Posted by robert rivers on February 26, 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.
Posted by Wayne Conner on February 26, 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.
Posted by Duane Davis on February 26, 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.
Posted by Larry Tuxbury on February 25, 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.
Posted by Nancy Geiger on February 25, 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.
Posted by Lois Blackburn on February 25, 2015
Honored to have known him! My thoughts are with the family.
Posted by John Joachim on February 25, 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.
Posted by Bob and Madz Hunter on February 25, 2015
Hour sincere condolences
Posted by e trono on February 25, 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.
Posted by Megan Cavolo on February 24, 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.
Posted by Richard Hobin on February 24, 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.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Lloyd Hulburd on February 22, 2016
Spent the last several days thinking about you, Rios. See you on the other side!! Peace!
Posted by John Joachim on February 22, 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.
Posted by Lloyd Hulburd on August 4, 2015
Happy Birthday, Rios
Recent stories

Condolences | The Burlington Free Press

Shared by Augustus _ on April 20, 2015
June 07, 2015
Condolences to the family.He was one heck of an athlete! And obviously a patriot. Mike Mongeon, Buda, Texas

June 06, 2015 To the Rivers family, our deepest sympathy. ~  Allen and Anne Kieslich, Ft. Myers, Florida

June 06, 2015 May God open his arms and welcome him to heaven. My prayers go out to the family. ~  Ed McGrath, Delhi, New York

  June 06, 2015 Paul & Cathy..our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Joe was a great guy..Barry & Mary Stevens ~  Mary Stevens, Deerfield, New Hampshire

March 06, 2015 Joe & I worked together as EMT's for Warrick County Ambulance Service in 1977. He had an unlimited sense of humor & we were much alike. I have missed him & will do so for years to come. God bless you, Joe Henry. Heaven has to be a better place now. Good bye my friend. ~  Daniel Kleiman, Plainfield, Indiana

March 06, 2015
Joe was a great and funny guy. We spent one summer exploring Lake Champlain. I am sure he will be missed by all who knew him. Condolences to his family and Toni.
Joe Cross

March 05, 2015
Prayers sent to Toni and Rivers Family. I was in a lot of Joe's classes. Joe was a real Hoot. I enjoyed hanging out with the crew. Joe was areal good guy and I am very sorry of his passing. G-D Bless... RIP ~  Art Cohen, Essex Junction, Vermont

March 03, 2015
I tried to emails Joe's listing , But not sure if it went through? Joe and I were good friends in Junior High and remained Casual friends in High School. We all followed Joe's High School sports Career, Especially Cross country and Track What a great representative for our High School. Our 50 reunion next year won't be the same with out Joe Thoughts are with you and your Family. ~  Brian Hanbridge, south burlington, Vermont

March 03, 2015
Real sorry to hear about Joe. Last saw him at my Mom's funeral. The old Lakeview Terrace and North Ave Gang is one stronger up there in heaven. You are in my thoughts and prayers
Jim Kieslich

March 02, 2015

I am heart broken by the passing of one of my high school buddies, "Rios." We played Little League baseball together as eleven and twelve year olds and remained the best of friends throughout high school. Who can forget his state records in the mile and two mile, the two state championships in X country and the second place finish in the New England Cross Country meet in the fall of 1965. Certainly an extraordinary athlete, but even more so, Joe was an extraordinary friend. The Friday night dances at BHS, basketball practices with "EJ," lunch in the cafeteria, hanging in the school's front lobby and Saturday night parties are just a few of my fond memories. With "Rabbit," Perky, Leslie and Mona we made the most of our high school years. We were lucky to have each other. Joe, thank you for the memories. I love you!! ~  Lloyd Hulburd, South Burlington, Vermont

March 01, 2015
To Toni and the entire Rivers family, We were so saddened to learn of Joe's passing. We always enjoyed our time with the two of you! He will be missed! Our deepest sympathy in this time of sorrow. ~  Stan & Jan Blondin, Essex Junction, Vermont

February 27, 2015
AJ and Gracie, I worked with your father at the American Red Cross for 9 years. Loved him as a brother when we were together there. In fact he was a groomsman in our wedding 29 years ago at a church in Evansville. We had so much fun in our job together and we made a difference in the lives of others. I am sad to learn of his passing and sadder that we did not stay in touch. I had tried a number of times to find him on FB to reconnect. Please say hello to your mom for us. We still have the painting she gifted to us for our marriage on a wall in our home. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time and as others mentioned your Dad brought laughter and fun wherever he was. My mind now races with memory after memory of the fun we had! Barry and Paula Porter ~  Barry Porter, Raleigh, North Carolina

February 27, 2015
We lost another Marine a few days ago. Joe and I were in boot camp at Paris Island together. He was the star of our platoon during training. God will make good use of his talents in heaven. God Bless to Joe and his family. ~  Paul Mayer, South Burlington, Vermont

February 27, 2015 Toni and the Rivers Family - I am so sorry to hear about Joe's passing. My thoughts are with you. ~  Sarah Carpenter, Burlington, Vermont

February 26, 2015 My sincere condolences to the entire family. I never met Joe. But back in the time when I ran cross country at Johnson State the coach said he had read about a talented runner from Burlington. So we jumped in a van and went to a meet in Burlington. We watched Joe run in his best event that day and I was truly amazed by his speed and perfect running skills. Although that was at least 49 years ago I never forgot that day. God Speed. ~  Don Bechard, Avon Lake, Ohio

February 26, 2015 Dad,you were an outstanding man and father to me. You have loved me unconditionally and taught me the value of knowing what this life truly means. It was respect and love, being bold and brave. Many wonderful memories will continue to echo in my heart each day of us growing up over the years with you. Dad, its your humor that I loved the most along with movie quotes "Eddie" etc...;-) you are missed beyond words, loved beyond measure and one day we will meet again. Rest in peace pappa rilskies. Always and forever,
Your daughter,
Gracie xoxo

February 26, 2015 I worked with Joe at the American Red Cross in the late '70's. His sense of humor was always appreciated and you could sure count on him anytime you were in a pinch and needed help!!! I'm so sorry to see his obit but sure brought back memories. Prayers for all Joe's loved ones. ~  Ann Georgesen Hall, Evansville, Indiana

February 26, 2015 Bravo Zulu, Joe. You are a great man and friend to all; and it was my distinct honor and pleasure to know you. My condolences to your family. ~  Jim Gorman, Evansville, Indiana

February 26, 2015 Marine Corps Detachment 1090 of Evansville, IN wishes to express its condolences to the family of Joseph Henry Rivers. May he rest in peace.

Joseph E. Filipczak, USMCR
Chaplain ~  Joseph E. Filipczak, Evansville, Indiana

February 26, 2015 Honorable Marine You served your Country in Valor and I thank you and will offer prayer for your loved ones to our merciful, loving Father God. May You rest peacefully in His Gracious Care.
From a grateful Marine Mom. Evansville, Indiana

February 25, 2015 The love of my life I will miss you beyond words. I was blessed to have been loved by you and so easy for me to return all my love. I have so many wonderful memories of our years together.I love you my "Henry" ~  Toni Trono, Venice, Florida  
February 25, 2015 gary morgan joe rivers backcourt BHS hoop 1966 none better as an 8th grader I was in awe of joe rivers truly an all american ~  johnny o RMH 71

February 25, 2015 Joe was a life long friend & a pleasure to coach. Definitely a super athletic talent. Coach & Nancy membourne Bch F.

February 25, 2015 My deepest condolences to Joe's family. I have many fond memories of our time together at BHS and always will remember his strong determination and wonderful spirit. Semper Fi, Joe.

Eleanor Hobbs Jenks
Williston, VT

February 25, 2015 Bob and the entire River's Family
Our prayers ans thoughts are with all of you at this time of loss. A great guy and athelete. ~  Paul and Cathy Provost, Hyde Park, Vermont

February 25, 2015 How sad for all of us who knew and competed with Joe on the track, basketball court and cross country course. Joe was my mentor and he taught me well. I am appreciative for all that and most appreciative that he was my good friend. My condolences to the entire Rivers family. ~  Stephan LaTulippe, Jericho, Vermont  
February 25, 2015
How sad for all of us who knew Joe. He was my mentor as a runner and taught me how to compete on a track and cross country course. More importantly he was my friend. My heartfelt condolences to all of the Rivers clan.

Steve LaTulippe BHS '68

February 25, 2015

I remember Joe Rivers fondly. A great BHS athlete, State record holder and a wonderful person.

Tony Adams

February 25, 2015 Met Joe at Champlain College. HE was a great guy and basketball player. R.I.P Brother, Semper Fi ~  rich owen, north port, Florida

February 25, 2015

Joe Henry - I'm so sorry you were not able to enjoy a longer life.
Our friendship will always be so special to me, and I'm so happy to have met, and known you, and to have spent the time together that we did; I'll never forget the picture of us on your new motorcycle, and was so pleased to have made it possible for you to get your ride - I know you appreciated it, and that you enjoyed the wind therapy.
Always in my heart - I will never forget what a special, intuitive, and caring person you were.
Enjoy your next adventure Joe!
your "Halfmoon"

~  a m, Vermont

Shared by Toni Trono on April 13, 2015

Joe Henry taking Butterbean for a boat ride

1966 Seahorses

Shared by Phil Payne on February 25, 2015

I was very sorry to see the news of Joe's passing.My condolences go out to his family and friends.
I remember Joes high school years as one of the premier athlelets in the state.My brother Mike was the other starting forward on the basketball team . They had a great run as a team,however they fell short at the Patrick Gym to the eventual winners. 
As a thirteen year old that season I traveled to every game with my Dad and it was very exciting to follow.
Joe was amazing and his superior athleticism was demonstrated in every game.I remember he never seemed to even break a sweat logging big minutes every night, Most nights he was the reason they prevailed .He had some huge scoring games one in perticular where he scored thirty four points. Long before the now fashionable three point field goals he did it the old fashioned way with skill and quickness.
My brother passed away many years ago so I am in hopes he can connect with Joe and one more time they can lace up those high black Chuck Taylors and give it a go.

God Speed # 32