2011-10-27 / Obituaries


 Vernon Rivers, 89, of Grove Hill, AL, beloved by hundred of friends and all of his family members, was called to a more peaceful and contented place on October 30, 2011, following a brief illness in intensive care at a Mobile hospital.


"Mr. Vernon", was always ready to help a fellow human being, regardless of that individual's need or their station in life. He built schools where he thought they were needed and built churches for dozens of needy communities in diverse areas of the United States with his mission group from Grove Hill Baptist Church.


Mr. Rivers came from the farmlands of the Sandflat community, played football for Thomasville High School before the days of facemask and bravely served his country in the Pacific Theatre of World War II as a Non-Commissioned Officer and mortar man. He married Ioma Rivers following the war and he remained a dedicated husband and father for more than 65 years.


While still a young man, he began work with Alabama Power Company and worked for years in the Thomasville and Butler, Alabama areas before relocating to Grove Hill in the early 1970's. After a lifetime of climbing poles and making friends of his utility customers, he ascended to the position of Local Manager of the Grove Hill office, and remained in this job until his retirement from Alabama Power.


Mr. Rivers' "retirement" included active gardening, cutting the lawns of others and an active church life. He loved his friends, and never missed the opportunity for a visit to a friend in the hospital or a coffee discussion on Alabama football. His most determined goal during his senior years was the care of his wife, Ioma and he never tired of patiently assisting her as she suffered declining health.


Mr. Rivers is survived by his wife, Ioma Rivers of Grove Hill, AL; two sons, Phillip Rivers of Washington, DC and Terry Rivers of Fairhope, AL; five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by the large numbers of friends who have grown to love him and the thousands of Alabama citizens that he assisted in nearly 90 years of life.


Visitation will be held at Grove Hill Baptist Church on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at Grove Hill Baptist Church on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM with Rev. Lee Merck officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be at Midway Baptist Church Cemetery in Thomasville, AL.


In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Grove Hill Baptist Church, 140 South Church Street, Grove Hill, AL 36451.


Arrangements by O'Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.


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