Thomas A. Rivers Sr., 85, of Middletown Springs, Vt., passed away at Rutland (Vt.) Regional Medical Center on Jan. 1, 2010.
Thomas was born on May 21, 1924, in Willimantic, Conn. He was the son of the late Metus and Grace (Geetersloh) Rivers.
Thomas enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. He was a nose gunner on a B-24 airplane and flew two missions on D-Day and 25 missions over Europe during World War II. After being honorably discharged as a staff sergeant, Thomas worked as a senior circulation manager at the New Haven Register in New Haven, Conn. He retired from the newspaper in 1982, and began working part time as a rural route mail carrier.
Thomas loved NASCAR and could be found faithfully every Sunday watching the race in his recliner. Thomas loved his family and was always willing to give anyone a ride wherever and whenever they needed one. He also loved spending time with his grandchildren. We could always count on Dad whenever we needed him.
Thomas is predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Raymonde, his second wife, Shirley, his brothers, Richard, Mike, and Jim, his sisters, Mae, Sister Grace Frances (Betty), Frances and Margaret.
Survivors include his children: Richard and his wife, Joanne, of Connecticut, John and his wife, Judith, of South Carolina, and Edward and his wife, Oksana, Tim and his wife, Carole, Francis and his wife, Glenda, and Tom Jr., all of Florida; his daughters, Carol Fox and her husband, Richard, of Hampton, Lisa Fenton and her husband, Chris of Middletown Springs, and Stacie Arnhold and her husband, Forrest, of Hampton.
Thomas is also survived by his grandchildren: Robert Loomis, Benjamin, Emily, Thomas, Sarah, and Richard Fox Jr.; Leslie, Brian, Juliann, and Elizabeth Bardin; Jonathan, T.J., Laura, and Nicole Arnhold; Carmen Cimino, Nathan Rivers, Trisha and Phillip Rivers, Tammy and Jennifer Rivers; his sisters, Ellen Stagis, Shirley Caya and her husband, Ray, and Mary Rose Ferrara and her husband, Rocco; as well as several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Progressive Care Unit at Rutland Regional Medical Center for the great care they took with Thomas in his final days.
Calling hours were held Jan. 6 at the Durfee Funeral Home in Fair Haven, Vt. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Jan. 7 at Our Lady of Seven Dolars Catholic Church in Fair Haven.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations are made in Thomas’ name to the Poultney Rescue Squad, PO Box 76, Poultney, Vt. 05764.