Jack Rivers, 83, of Fishers Island and Sumner, Maine was born on March 27, 1932 in Somerville, Massachusetts to the late Harold Melvin Rivers and Dorothy Adella Richardson. He attended Somerville High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Atlantic Fleet as an aircraft mechanic aboard the USS Wasp during the Korean conflict. Jack returned home to Massachusetts to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree from Fitchburg State Teacher’s College, then went on to obtain a Master’s of Fine Arts from Columbia University, and was All But Dissertation (ABD) from his Doctoral degree. He spent his career as the high school Arts Teacher at White Plains High School in New York, teaching all of the art disciplines, although his favorites were photography, drafting, ceramics, woodworking, graphic arts, sculpture, and advertising.
He fell in love with Fishers while sailing Long Island Sound in the late 1960’s. In 1968, he and his wife Elsa bought a home on West Harbor and earned his reputation as a “crazy artist” and island “character” over the 40 years that followed. Among many other things, he is remembered for renovating the house on West Harbor that is still known as the one with the “glass wall” and for designing and building the “Round House” on Wilderness Point. Jack could often be seen taking photographs all around the island, sailing with anyone who wanted to join him, spending happy hour at the American Legion, and cleaning out the shrimp platter at any party where he was welcome. Jack never returned to the island after suffering a stroke in 2012. He died in his sleep on December 9, 2015.
Jack leaves behind his beloved son, David Rivers, his grandsons Kaylen and Brayden; sister Faye Gagne; brothers Robert and Ken Rivers.
Please join us in remembering Jack by making a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute at 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 550, Vienna, VA 22182 or the Fishers Island Sea Stretcher Fund, P.O Box 123, Fishers Island, NY 06390.
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