James Rivers

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Jim made his final trip to the golf course on Aug. 29th, 2021.

The sixth of seven children, he was born Feb. 21, 1937 to Michael “Frank” Rivers and Beatrice Leona (Pray) Rivers of Bangor, Maine. His enduring passion for sports was cultivated at Broadway park with his childhood friends. At the age of 12, Jimmy became known as “Ringo” for his uncanny impersonation of Gregory Peck’s quick-draw character Jimmy Ringo in “The Gunfighter.” He graduated from John Bapst High School in 1955, with varsity letters in baseball, basketball and track.

After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy as a Signalman, Third Class on the U.S.S Laffey, a destroyer known as “The Ship That Would Not Die.” During his three years of service, he travelled the world; experiences which he often spoke of fondly, and which inspired a persistent yearn to travel. He was a member of the Tin Can Sailors and the USS Laffey Association for the remainder of his life, contributing to the preservation of the USS Laffey DD724 Museum Ship in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Following his honorable discharge, Jim worked for several local accounting firms before joining the Maine Revenue Service. He retired in 1997, after 27 years as a District Tax Audit Manager.

Jim joined the Maine Senior Games at the age of 55, earning medals in basketball, softball, golf and horseshoes over a 12-year period. Additionally, he was part of the first Maine team to participate in the Nationals in Baton Rouge in 1993. He was an avid member of the Riverside and Maine State Golf Associations from the 1980’s-2007, playing everyday following his retirement. Until the very end, Jim preferred to walk the golf course. Of the 128 courses listed by the MSGA, he played 82.

Ringo loved to dance (and was great at it!), had a wonderful sense of humor, and dearly loved the beach. He was married to Margaret Mary Rivers with two children from 1960-1973, and later to Kathleen Garrigan Rivers from 1996-2011. He was part of many communities across the state during his lifetime, but ultimately settled in Old Orchard Beach. In his later years, he found peace in walking the beach, remarking that the sound of the waves reminded him of being rocked to sleep on the Laffey.

James was predeceased by: his parents; his brothers, Robert, Francis, and William; his sisters, Phyliss and Rosemary;and his beloved dog, Duchess.

He is survived by: his brother, Richard “Dick” Rivers; daughter, Diane Rivers-Hooke of Westbrook; son, Sean E. Rivers of Readfield; and grandchildren, Kevin James Hooke, Haley Morgan Hooke, Nolan James Pease, Hayden James Rivers, and Carter Austin Rivers. As a grandfather, he was endearingly known as “Coach.”

Inexpressible love and thanks to neighbors turned friends Julie and Tony Murray who were vital in fulfilling his wish to remain home. Love also to Kathy, who remained a lifelong friend. Gracious thanks to all his caregivers, Beacon Home Hospice, and Gosnell Hospice House.

Arrangements are in the care of Advantage Funeral and Cremation Services. Mount Pleasant Cemetery memorial service to be held in the spring of 2022. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.dignitymemorial.com

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