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John Benton Rivers Sr.

March 21, 1935 ~ September 9, 2021 (age 86)


John Benton Rivers, Sr., 86, of Atlantic Beach, NC. passed away Thursday, September 9th, 2021 of congestive heart failure.

He was born on March 21st, 1935 to Hattie Ruth Newton and John William Rivers. Born in Thomasville, Alabama, and the middle of nine children, his upbringing, and the desire to be the diplomatic peace maker of the family later served him well during his twelve years on the Atlantic Beach City Council.

Growing up in Alabama provided him a foundation in growing a garden, hunting and an appreciation for all things in nature.  He often would point out what the different crops being grown were or why trees grew a certain way on the roadside.  His knowledge for area history and why things were the way they were was limitless, and often impressed those listening. He was the original google resource for family and friends.    

John and his wife Laverne Coughlan Rivers met in Greenville, NC in 1961 and were married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1962. After retiring from a successful sales career with Borden Chemical they moved to Atlantic Beach and became full time residents in 1998.  They were married for 53 years and had two children. Their first child was a daughter, Teri Rivers Viduna (David), and 2 years later a son arrived, John Benton “Ben” Rivers Jr. Their family grew over the years and they were blessed with several grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, John and George Blakeney. His grandchildren Taylor Viduna Blakeney, Dr. Aaron Blakeney, Jordan Viduna Slachman, Kipp Slachman and Cole Benton Rivers filled him with pride.   

John was a well-known presence on the beach and his magnetic personality ensured that he found friends regardless of his location. He enjoyed hosting friends and family in his home and was especially proud of his famous cornbread and banana pudding. Nothing made him happier than to be surrounded by friends sharing stories of the people and places he loved. He spent his days tending to his backyard mini farm, his fig tree, Boomer and Susie his yard ducks, and all the neighborhood dogs. He spent his nights checking in with friends at all of his favorite restaurants and social hangouts.  He was so social his daughter kept tabs on him by following his cell phone GPS system to keep up with his evening travels. She affectionately nicknamed him “Mr. Party” because he was always on the go and ready for a fun evening.

John was preceded in death by his wife Laverne and their son, Ben Rivers.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service on October 23, 2021 at 11:00 AM. The service will be held at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, at 2005 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to go towards the John B. Rivers Sr. Memoriam at the future Atlantic Beach Town Hall. Donations can be made at any Wells-Fargo branch to the John B. Rivers Memorial Fund.

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.

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Celebration of Life
October 23, 2021

11:00 AM
Life Service

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