H. Alton Rivers, Jr. was born October 28, 1935 in Canadian, Okla. to the late Inez and Alton Rivers, Sr. and passed on Thanksgiving Day 2017 of a massive stroke. He was preceded in death by his two sons, John Alan Rivers and Henry Alton Rivers III. He is survived by his wife, Constance (Conni), of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his daughter Sue Ann Alder and her husband Steve, of Soper, Okla.; his daughter through marriage, Safia Hussain of Santa Monica, Calif.; two granddaughters Lindsey Vaughn of Tulsa, Okla. and Sara Mote and her husband Shawn of Elmore City, Okla.; two great-grandsons, Garrett and Tanner, his sister Ruth Evans of Willis, Texas and two nieces, Carol Bramlett of Conroe, Texas and Donna Clark of Waco, Texas; a great-niece and several great-nephews.
In high school he played football, basketball, and baseball, sang in the glee club, and won honors in speech competition. He earned his B.A. degree at Oklahoma State University where he was the sports announcer for OSU’s radio station, KVRO a member of the Arnold Air Society, a member of the sport car club, and sang in the OSU Men’s Glee Club. Upon being awarded his degree, he also received his commission into the United States Air Force (USAF).
He served in the USAF 21 years, accumulating more than 3,000 hours in fighter jets, primarily in the
F-89, F-101B, and F-4 Phantom, and he was one of the first 13 aviators assigned to the F-111 in 1967. He served in the Vietnam War, earning the Bronze Star and Air Medals among other awards and decorations. He was a principal in preparing for the return of the F-111 to Southeast Asia in 1972, operating out of the 7/13th Air Force HQ at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base and the United States Embassy in Vientianne, Laos. Following the war he flew F-111’s in England. His final assignment was Deputy of the Air-to-Air Missile Testing Directorate in the Technical Air Warfare Center, Eglin AFB, FL. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He was awarded an MPA degree from Auburn University and served 20 years as a city manager in Oklahoma retiring from Miami, Okla. He was a member of the Municipal Electrical System of Oklahoma Board, a member of the Oklahoma Municipal League Board of Directors, President of the Oklahoma City Managers Association, and active in the International City Managers Association.
He has been a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the United Methodist Church, a member of the Rotary Club and was involved in many community activities.
He had a wide and varied range of interests, primarily his Oklahoma State Cowboys sports; playing tennis with his daughter, Sue Ann; motoring along country roads in their sport cars, top down, with Conni driving; music from Cole Porter to Hank Williams and from Judy Garland to rock and roll; remaining in touch with old friends from grade school, high school, and the Air Force; and writing fiction. After retiring from city management, he wrote novels that were published by Harper-Collins (AUS), St. Martins Press, and smaller publishers.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Oklahoma State University Foundation and designated to Pete’s Pet Posse, OSU Pet Therapy Program Fund, 20-81600. Checks should be made payable to the OSU Foundation and mailed to PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749. Memorial donations may also be made online at www.OSUgiving.com
Condolences may be sent to www.cremationsocietync.com