John W. Rivers III died unexpectedly Monday, June 17, 2019. He was born July 27, 1963, in Butte, Mont., to Rebecca Wood Rivers and John W. Rivers Jr. He attended school in Elk River, graduating in 1980.
John enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and served in Juneau, Alaska, and Alameda, Calif., achieving the rank of coxswain. Following an honorable discharge, John moved to Maine, Colorado, Alaska and eventually back to Idaho.
While in Maine, John met Amy Russell. After a little crisscrossing of the country, they eventually got their acts together and sealed the deal with a little girl, their daughter, Miranda. Miranda was quickly followed by her brother, Jack, and little sister, Theresa.
Having moved back to Idaho, John started his own business recycling mobile home axles and tires. He then went to work for Potlatch Corp., but realized after a decade that factory life was not for him. He returned to work in the woods, where he felt most at home. He was working for Lowry Trucking at the time of his death.
John was passionate about so many things. He loved geology, dirt bikes, loud music, frozen highways and Friday afternoons. Most of all, he loved his children. His greatest joy was raising his kids. His proudest moments revolved around their big victories and small steps in the right direction. He taught them how to bait hooks, change tires, stick up for themselves and call out an injustice. He encouraged them to roll up their sleeves and dig in, to never give up and not back down. He was looking forward to doing it all over again with his granddaugher, Aubrey Giles.
John was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Avis Trott. He is survived by Amy in Elk River, Miranda and Heath Anspach, of Genesee, Jack and Dana Rivers, of Truckee, Calif., and Theresa Rivers and Aubrey Giles, of Moscow. He also leaves behind his sister Cindy Garza, of Japan, nieces Sara Perry in Oklahoma and Jessica Simpson in California.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at the Elk Creek Pavilion in the Clearwater National Forest on the outskirts of Elk River. Those wishing to attend may want to bring a lawn chair. Some seating will be provided.
The family would like to thank the first responders in Potlatch who did everything they could; Bill and Trudi Lowry and Tiffany Candler for their kindness, compassion and support during these hard days; and Tyrel Giles for rolling up his sleeves and walking this path with us.