Rev. Wallace P. Rivers, 96, went to be with the Lord, whom he loved with all his heart, on September 27, 2019. Wallace was born November 30, 1922 in High Springs, Florida. He joined the U.S. Navy as a 19-year old high school senior and served honorably during World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He was a gifted navigator, ship’s photographer, and celestial navigation instructor, who was honorably discharged in 1945 as a Quartermaster First Class.
He was married to Ernestine Balentine Rivers for 54 years and served as a Southern Baptist pastor at churches in central Texas, as well as north and south Florida, for over six decades, with Ernestine by his side until her death in 1997. During that time, he conducted 1,436 funerals, a ministry he found especially rewarding. He also served as Director of Operations for the South Florida Jail Ministry and was Chaplain at the VA Hospital in Miami.
Wallace is survived by his current wife, Joyce Rivers; his children, David Rivers (Kathy), Diane Rivers (Bryan Beane), Darlene Holzbach (Bill); granddaughters, Allison Rivers (Tony Nicosia) and Teresa Ann Rivers; and his stepchildren, Daniel Roper (Lisa) and their children, Laura Ann Nolan (Bryce), John Roper, and Jackson Roper; Chris Cox (Dave) and their children, David Cox (Kim) and Daniel Cox.
Memorials may be made in Wallace’s honor to his church, Highview Baptist Church East Campus, or Honor Flight Bluegrass.