Robert "Bob" Errol Rivers, 85, affectionately known as "BaBa", passed away from liver and lung cancer related to melanoma on Tuesday, October 08, 2013. Born in Atlanta, GA on June 28, 1928 and moved to Orlando in 1937. He attended Delaney Elementary, Cherokee Junior High and Orlando High School (OHS), where he was a member of the "O" Club. He played basketball and football, earning his letter in football. He was a member of the class of 1946. After his senior year, he enlisted in the Army and served for 15 months. He was a member of the 11th Airborne Division during their duty in the Japanese occupation on the Island of Honshu. Upon honorable discharge, he entered the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1948. He was a member of the ATO fraternity and advanced ROTC. In August 1948, he married Sally Peardon of Daytona Beach. The following year their 1st child, son Cary Rivers, was born during the opening game against Citadel. The doctor went to the game, but Bob didn't get to go. Mr. Rivers graduated in 1951 with a BSBA with a major in accounting and a commission as 2nd Lt in the Army Transportation Corp. He was employed by Minute Maid Concentrate Company in Plymouth, FL for a short time before being called to active duty to serve in the "Korean Police Action" as a "truck officer". After the required time in the combat area, he transferred to Yokohama, Japan. It was there that daughter Pamela was born. Three months later, the family moved back to Orlando, where the children were raised in College Park. Mr. Rivers' professional career spanned over 40 years, including stints with Minute Maid, Lockheed Martin and 10 years with the Institute of Internal Auditors at their International Headquarters in Altamonte Springs. He was the Director of the Certified Internal Auditor Program overseeing examinations worldwide for the designation of "Certified Internal Auditor". He completed his career back with Lockheed Martin, where he retired in 1991 with 20 years total service. In addition to his civilian pursuits he remained in the active Army Reserve and achieved the rank of Colonel and was retired with 28 years of service. His highest position was Chief of Staff of the 143rd Transportation Brigade here in Central Florida. His highest award was the Meritorious Service Medal, which he received in 1980. Mr. Rivers held life memberships in Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), National Association of Accountants (NAA), Reserve Officers Association (ROA) and held many local offices, including ROA Treasurer for the State of Florida. One of his most prized memberships was the Ole Timers Club of Central Florida since 1997.
Bob and Sally loved to travel and did so extensively for 20 years, visiting places in Europe and North America, east to Turkey and west to Tahiti and almost all of the Islands in the Caribbean. They enjoyed many cruises and BaBa loved sharing stories of those times with his children and grandchildren.
Mr. Rivers was a Christian and attended College Park Methodist Church since returning from the service in 1954. He is predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Sara (Sally) and grandson, Elliott E. H. Rivers. He is survived by daughter, Pam (David) McComb, Orlando; son, Cary (Madeline) Rivers, Augusta, GA; 6 grandchildren, Colby and Dyar (Emily) McComb, Orlando, Christopher (Rachel) Rivers, Anderson, SC, Todd (Jennifer) Rivers, Athens, GA, Charles A. H. Rivers, Oliver I. H. Rivers, Jesse A. H. Rivers, Augusta, GA, and 8 great-grandchildren, Carter and Chase McComb, Orlando; Riley, Finn and Blythe Rivers, Anderson, SC; Isabel, Hodge and Leary Rivers, Athens, GA.
Visitation will be 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Friday, October 11, at Carey Hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home, 1350 Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park. Memorial service, led by Kent Sterchi, at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 12th, in the Reformation Chapel at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, 106 E. Church St., Orlando. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Brede/Wilkins Scholarship Fund at Village on the Green, 500 Village Place, Longwood, FL 32779 or to Hospice of the Comforter, 480 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.