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Norman "Norm" Rivers

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Norman "Norm" Rivers
/ Categories: Obituary

Norman "Norm" Rivers

April 27, 2018

Service Details              

The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. noon until time of funeral services beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, 320 N. Main St, Three Rivers, MI with Rev. Brenda Deily officiating.  A luncheon will follow the service at The First Presbyterian Church. Cremation and interment will be at a later date.

 

                              

Obituary Notice

Norman James Rivers, age 87, of Three Rivers, passed away on Friday, April 27th, 2018 at the Rose Arbor Hospice Center.  Norm was born on February 15, 1931 in Detroit, MI., the son of the late John F. and Lillian (Stainsby) Rivers.

Norm graduated from Cooley High School, Detroit, MI. in 1949 where he lettered in baseball and football and was a golden gloves boxing champion.  Norm played shortstop on the American Legion Baseball Championship Team in 1948. He furthered his education at Wayne State University. He was a certified Life Insurance Underwriter (LUTC), Certified National Association Stock Dealers, and held several American Management Association Certificates.

Norm served his country in the U.S. Naval Reserves and the U.S. Army during the Korean War where he was a heavy weapons instructor at Fort Riley, KS, and also participated in A-Bomb tests, in Yucca Flats, Nevada in 1953.

Norm was employed with Ford Motor Company, Goeble Brewing Company, John Hancock Life Insurance Company as Assistant District Manager, St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company as a Life Sales Supervisor for the State of Michigan. He was Co-Owner and Operator of Hackenberg-Schrieber Insurance Agency.  In 1979 Norm started with Armstrong International Inc.  where he was Vice President of Iroquois Development corp., Purchasing Agent, Regional Sales Mgr., General Sales Mgr. of Cybersonic Corp Divn., Manager Energy Management Services and Director of Sales (Europe) Armstrong Service Inc. where he eventually retired in 1999.

He was also active in community service of Three Rivers.  He served as Chairman on the Airport Advisory Board and Planning Commission during the late 1970’s. He was elected City Commissioner in 1980 and Mayor of Three Rivers in 1981 and City Commissioner again in 1996. He was a member of the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce for twenty five years , Three Rivers Rotary for over forty years, and the First Presbyterian Church since 1974 where he taught Sunday School and served as Deacon and Elder.  Norm made a run for Congress for the U.S. House of Representatives for Michigan in 1988.

Norm was preceded in passing by his parents and brother George Rivers and sister Ruth Rivers (Naumowitz).  Surviving are older brother John S. Rivers and younger sister Geraldine A. Rivers (Pullum).

Surviving to cherish his memory is wife JoAnn (Stiefvater) Rivers; daughters, Jody (Larry) Daugherty; Christine (Eric) Perry; son John (Sherri) Rivers II; grandchildren Steven (BrieAnna) Daugherty and Danielle (Korben) Kavanaugh,  Samuel and Alexandria Perry, John Rivers III, Kegan and McKenna Rivers and four great grandsons.

                            

 

Additional Information

Memorial donations may be directed to Rose Arbor Hospice Center.  

           


James “Jim” Lemuel Bippus of Three Rivers, 85, passed away in his home surrounded by family on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Jim had recently been admitted to Borgess Hospital due to complications related to kidney dialysis. When treatments became unsuccessful he determined he would leave this world on his own terms and in his own way. He was an ordinary man that lived an extraordinary life.

Jim was born in Bucyrus, Ohio on September 14, 1932, the youngest child of the late James and Blanch Bippus. When he was seven, his father died and Jim and his five sisters were then raised alone by Blanch, a resilient and strong woman who devoted her life to serving in the Salvation Army.

Jim enlisted into the United States Army. During his service, he earned The National Service Defense Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Army in September of 1955.

Jim attended Ohio State University taking advantage of the G.I. Bill and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. During a six month internship at Essex Wire in Fort Wayne, Jim met and fell in love with Vera H. Mohre; they married in 1958. Jim became employed full time at Essex and took a transfer to Three Rivers, with Vera, and his now six children in tow.

The Essex position didn’t work out the way Jim had imagined, so he quit. After a few months of soul searching he saw the for rent sign in the closed Standard Service Station on Michigan Avenue. So Jim took the test to become a certified mechanic and passed it easily with no formal training. He and Vera opened the station and people started coming.

In 1987 he purchased what would become the Bippus Shell Station on the corner of 131 and Michigan Avenue. Many in the community came to know him for his trustworthy service in auto repair. But more than that, people admired the Bippus family: Vera at the cash register and their children pumping gas, helping to fix cars, or doing inventory on New Year’s Day. In 1997 the station was renovated and instead of offering car repair, now had a restaurant called Vera’s, another sign of Jim’s great love for his wife. Over the years Jim’s business became a cornerstone of the community: a place people met for coffee or lunch and were greeted with warmth and hospitality.

In 2012 Jim and Vera were voted Three River’s Citizens of the Year by the Lion’s Club for their many contributions to the town. Jim made doughnuts on Sunday mornings for the Immaculate Conception Church, read to children at Andrews School, mentored a young student, participated in the County Infrastructure Committee, collected turtles for the Lion’s Club Turtle Derby, and taught auto shop to adults. With his snow plow he kept the Immaculate Conception Church and the Lion’s Club parking lot plowed for free, and also routinely plowed out driveways for others.

Jim was a great lover of classical music. He enjoyed reading books by Thomas Clancy, John Grisham, and James Patterson. He also was a great fan of The Wall Street Journal. Jim loved to play cards and was part of a monthly poker group that met for over 30 years. He and Vera also played in a weekly bridge group for about the same number of years. Equally remarkable, Jim and Vera hosted weekly Sunday dinners for family members and anyone else that wanted to stop by. New people in town were warmly welcomed to the table.


Elizabeth “Betty” Jean Roberts, age 82, of Three Rivers, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Munger, MI. on July 6th, 1935 the daughter of the late Nicholas and Ethel (Orosz) Pless.

Betty has been a long time resident of Three Rivers. She enjoyed quilting and cross stitching and loved to read books and occasionally shop in Shipshewana. Betty’s true love and joy was taking care of her family, especially her grandchildren which she adored.

Mrs. Roberts was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jack Roberts, and one grandson Nathanial Johnson.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory, three children, Jon (Cherie) Roberts, Kippy (Timothy) Waltz, both of Three Rivers, and Kristine Roberts, of Odessa, FL.; one brother, John Pless, of Three Rivers; seven beloved grandchildren, Mitchell Roberts, Daniel Waltz, Jordan and Peyton Roberts, Dacoda Jacobs, Kelly Magee and Meagan Fisher.

Elizabeth “Betty” Jean Roberts, age 82, of Three Rivers, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Munger, MI. on July 6th, 1935 the daughter of the late Nicholas and Ethel (Orosz) Pless.

Betty has been a long time resident of Three Rivers. She enjoyed quilting and cross stitching and loved to read books and occasionally shop in Shipshewana. Betty’s true love and joy was taking care of her family, especially her grandchildren which she adored.

Mrs. Roberts was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jack Roberts, and one grandson Nathanial Johnson.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory, three children, Jon (Cherie) Roberts, Kippy (Timothy) Waltz, both of Three Rivers, and Kristine Roberts, of Odessa, FL.; one brother, John Pless, of Three Rivers; seven beloved grandchildren, Mitchell Roberts, Daniel Waltz, Jordan and Peyton Roberts, Dacoda Jacobs, Kelly Magee and Meagan Fisher.

Elizabeth “Betty” Jean Roberts, age 82, of Three Rivers, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Munger, MI. on July 6th, 1935 the daughter of the late Nicholas and Ethel (Orosz) Pless.

Betty has been a long time resident of Three Rivers. She enjoyed quilting and cross stitching and loved to read books and occasionally shop in Shipshewana. Betty’s true love and joy was taking care of her family, especially her grandchildren which she adored.

Mrs. Roberts was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jack Roberts, and one grandson Nathanial Johnson.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory, three children, Jon (Cherie) Roberts, Kippy (Timothy) Waltz, both of Three Rivers, and Kristine Roberts, of Odessa, FL.; one brother, John Pless, of Three Rivers; seven beloved grandchildren, Mitchell Roberts, Daniel Waltz, Jordan and Peyton Roberts, Dacoda Jacobs, Kelly Magee and Meagan Fisher.

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7 comments on article "Norman "Norm" Rivers"

John & Carol Dimmick

So sorry we missed the obituary until just this morning. We loved & respected Norm as a great neighbor & good friend. please accept our condolences.


Nancy Sherwood

Uncle Norman was a real sweetheart. We always loved our visits, and my sister, Carol Hestvik and I are happy that we were able to visit with Uncle Norman, Aunt Joanne and family. Uncle Norman you will be truly missed by family and friends


Maria Estela Pister

Nancy Sherwood: Leader La Leche League International accept our condolences


John Henline

Norm Rivers was a great friend and mentor to me. One of the most thoughtful and kind people I've known. Condolences to all the family.


Jeff & Shirley Weir

Our fondest memories of Three Rivers are centered around Norm, Joanne and the Rivers family.

Sending our love and sincerest condolences to you all.

Jeff & Shirley Weir

Oro Valley, AZ.


Jessica Reus

Our sincere condolences to Joann, Jon, and the rest of his family. I will remember Norm for his kindness, devotion to his wife and family, and his time volunteering at the hospital. Please know you are in our thoughts.

Jessica and Shawn Reus


Kathy (White) Valenzuela

Larry called me with the news about Norm's passing. I felt such sadness for those he left behind. However I know that you appreciate those many years he was with you all as a spouse, friend, father, sibling. My condolences to the entire family. I have such positive memories of Norm as a very uplifting and kind person.

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