OBITUARY

Edward Ray Rivers

September 5, 1957October 24, 2020

Edward Ray Rivers was born on September 5, 1957 to Janice Campbell Rivers and the late Al Clark Rivers.

Dedicated Son, Father, Husband, and Brother he is survived by his mother Janice; son Christopher Evan Rivers; wife Nancy Rivers; brothers Stephen Rivers and his wife Denise; Mitchell Rivers; brother-in-law Dennis Wellen; sister/brother –in-law Sue and Doug DeSmidt; nieces and nephews: Casey Rivers, Sydney Rivers, Cam Rivers, Grant Rivers, Clark Rivers; Diana (DeSmidt) Taylor, Jessica (Wellen) Harstead, and Dave DeSmidt.

Eddie Ray is also survived by Campbell families and Selma Rae “Meme” Henderson and her families.

In addition to his father Al Rivers, his grandparents, Nick Paulie and Leo Davidson Campbell and Alfred Ray and Clarice Clark Rivers predeceased him.

Ed earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from South Carolina and Ole Miss respectively and retired from daily operations as an Associate Athletics Director after 33 years in departmental leadership roles as a sports administrator at Ole Miss, North Alabama, and Virginia (UVA). Ed then served in an advisory capacity as Special Assistant to the UVA Athletics Director. For the last 34 years, he has been a faculty member at UVA where he worked on IM-Rec Sports capital projects and served on the Contemplative Sciences Center's Directorate as a link between administration and the Academy. Ed helped build collaborative relationships across Grounds to support the Center's facility development efforts and expanding program offerings in mind/body academic and enrichment initiatives. A former intercollegiate head coach of cross country and competitive distance runner, Ed's interest in flow state enhancements as it relates to performance, behavior and well-being supports contemplative studies and practices that can lead to positive outcomes ranging from one's athletic/wellness endeavors to applied techniques that can improve organizational leadership and personnel development in the workplace. Eddie was an active member of the Charlottesville Track Club for many years, as he was a formidable competitor and a beloved friend to his racing peers.

Chris and Nancy want to thank Ed’s good friends Carla Williams; David Germano; Colette Sheehy and Glen Good; Lawson and Sean Jenkins; Jerry and Leonard Sandridge; Betsey and John Casteen; Terry Sullivan and Doug Laycock; Craig Littlepage; Erica Perkins, Dave Cheplak, Pete Hanson and all former and current UVA IM-Rec Sports staff.

Special thanks to Dr. Syed, Dr. Purow, and all of their staffs at the UVA Medical Center and the Emily Couric Cancer Center for the love and care during Ed’s long, valiant fight against brain cancer.

A private family memorial service will be held in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Ed will rest in peace at the UVA Columbarium. Chris and Nancy hope to honor Dad when it is safe to gather at UVA. Contributions may be made to the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, 1230 Cedars Court, Suite 206, Charlottesville, VA 22903 or the Chesterfield Baptist Church, 207 E Main St. Chesterfield, SC 29709.

Finally, if you wish to honor Ed (Eddie Ray), thank God for your many blessings He has given you and reach out to someone with a smile and helping hand, especially someone in need.

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Edward Ray Rivers

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Natalia Perez

November 3, 2020

Despite being an employee at IM-Rec, I first came to know Ed through my work on the graduate student council at UVa. He always made himself so available, fully believed in our cause to make gym membership more accessible to people, and proved a powerful and empathetic ally. When I broke my ankle, he reached out to me personally. He was also one of the first to advocate on my behalf when a job opportunity became available. I will never forget his kindness, his belief in me (even when I didn't think so highly of myself!), and his warmth. Sending my best to his family and to my entire IM-Rec family for such an immense loss.

Linda Prohaska

November 2, 2020

Just the fond memories of our childhood years and how much fun he was and I will miss him. I live in Ohio so I had not seen him in a while. But did know so much about him from talking to his mother, my sister, Janice Campbell Rivers. He was so dedicated to her.. Prayers for her and the family.

Julie Cunningham

November 2, 2020

As an employee at UVA during the mid-1990s, I was eager for my nephew to participate in some of the youth activities held through IM-REC Sports for children of employees. Ed graciously agreed to allow my nephew to sign up if there was space left in the class after employees' children registered. I will always remember that kindness to me and my nephew, who grew up to attend the University of South Carolina, Ed's alma mater.

Gerald Drumheller

November 2, 2020

Nancy, so sorry to hear this news. Sincerely enjoyed working with Ed over the years. He was so helpful and always showed concern for others. You and your family our in my prayers and thoughts.

Jon Williams

November 1, 2020

I was so sorry to hear of Ed’s passing. I enjoyed working with him on a University of Virginia restructuring project between HR and Athletics (along with other members of Athletics) several years ago. He was very easy to work with and we put together a great product. The best part was that he would drive me to meetings and we would talk about a lot of his experiences at UVA and elsewhere. He will certainly be missed.

Elizabeth Lawson

November 1, 2020

It was a pleasure to work with Ed and the IM Sports staff at UVA on the planning , construction , and renovations of many IM Sports facilities over the years. My condolences to Nancy and Chris. Ed was a special guy.
Jo Lawson

David Germano

October 31, 2020

In three decades at the University of Virginia, Ed is one of a small handful of people I have treasured the most as the truest of friends in every way. Passionate, creative, fiercely loyal, dedicated, gregarious, practical, and intelligent are all words that come to mind when I cast my back over the many moments I was fortunate enough to share with him. I remember when I first met Ed over a decade ago in the context of founding a new center at UVA devoted to contemplation and student flourishing. It was a rare first meeting that really surprised me - he was so open to innovation, so knowledgable about the organizational culture, and so passionate. I remember leaving the meeting thinking, wow, that was not the conversation I expected to have. Ed quickly became someone to whom I turned frequently for advice and mentorship, as well as someone for whom I came to feel an immense affection. Together with his beloved Nancy, they have been a couple that has embodied the virtues of the UVA community - smart, dedicated, caring, and generous. I already miss Ed so much and can only hope that in my own work and interactions with others I am faithful to all he has taught me over the years.

'STASH' Stanley

October 30, 2020

Nancy,
My deepest condolences on your loss.
I remember Ed so fondly from all the times that I worked with him and the special personal conversations that we had. He was always so considerate and forward-thinking.
I will have him, you and Chris in my prayers.
'STASH'

Louise Dudley

October 29, 2020

Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s always hard to lose a spouse, but especially now when friends and loved ones can’t gather for comfort. Earl and I are sending virtual hugs, hoping that your memories of happier times will help you in these tough days.

Emory Henderson

October 29, 2020

As a younger cousin, I have always admired Eddie. He was so accomplished as a professional, yet he always put the main focus on his family.

I’ll always remember our visit to Charlottesville when I toured UVA. He made time to show us around and treat us to lunch.

He never missed family weddings or gatherings, despite his busy schedule. Whenever Eddie visited our hometown, never forgot to visit my grandmother (his aunt). She treasured those visits.

My deepest sympathies to Nancy and Chris.

FROM THE FAMILY

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