Alan Richard Rivers, 78, passed away on August 27, 2022, in Eau Claire, WI. He spent the last week of his life with his wife, Linda, and children David and Julie at his bedside, enjoying old stories and jokes. The week prior he spent with his family, including grandchildren and step-grandchildren, for a week-long family reunion.
He was born in Springfield, MA to George and Gertrude (Smith) Rivers on June 28, 1944, the youngest of four. He grew up in West Springfield, MA and loved playing sports, especially basketball. He graduated from Western New England College in 1966 with a degree in mechanical engineering. His first job was with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Hartford, Connecticut, where he worked as a structural engineer on jet engines, including the 747. Alan switched to computer work and moved to Control Data in Minneapolis in 1974.
In Minneapolis he met the love of his life and best friend, Linda Groves, and they married in 1976. Their two children were born in 1979 and 1981. In 1982 he took a new job with Cray Research. In 1986 he transferred to Chippewa Falls, WI and he and his family moved to Eau Claire.
Alan was quiet but attentive. He put his family first and his love for them ran deep. His children were his pride and joy, and that only grew with the addition of their spouses and his grandchildren. He believed every day should include laughter and did his best to ensure that those around him were laughing often. Alan told good jokes and bad jokes. He loved watching old comedy routines and listening to classical music and traveling to beautiful places. In his younger years he loved trick skiing and later golf. He loved dogs, especially Scruffy. Alan was a devoted fan of the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He loved recounting stories from his days as an engineer and solving problems. He loved teaching his children, and later his grandchildren, about how things work.
Alan survived prostate cancer in 1999 and 2002, and breast cancer in 2006 before being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2013. For the past 9 years he bravely endured treatments and disease progressions without complaint or self-pity.
Alan was preceded in death by his parents, George and Gertrude Rivers and brothers, Leslie and Bruce. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Linda; son David (Emilie); daughter Julie (Hugh Arnold); grandsons Michael, Owen, and Madrona; step-grandchildren Marley and Liam Arnold; and his sister Norma (Bob) Smith.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 1st at 3:00 p.m. at Hulke Family Funeral Home at 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, followed by a reception at First Presbyterian Church at 2112 Rudolph Road. Visitation will take place at the funeral home on Saturday October 1, 2022 from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service.
Memorials will go to Mayo Cancer Center in Eau Claire.
His memory lives on in our hearts, thoughts, conversations, and laughter. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with the arrangements.