Marion ‘Sy’ Rivers passed away peacefully at the age of 88 at the Hospice Legacy House on July 17, 2020 surrounded by his wife and daughters. Sy was born on August 20, 1931 to Mattie Ridgell Rivers and Marion Claude Rivers in Cheraw, South Carolina.
He graduated from Clemson University in June 1954. After graduation, he moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina where he taught school for three years and met his wife of 64 years, Nancy Wolfe. They married in March of 1956 and moved to Ocala one year later.
Sy taught biology at Ocala High School for two years and then joined Certified Grocers where he worked for 28 years. He eventually became the Head Buyer and later the Special Projects Coordinator which involved organizing trade shows and their special trips program.
He and Nancy traveled all over the United States and to many other countries hosting these trips sometimes with their daughters. After retirement, Sy pursued a long- time passion for flower arranging and used his talents to provide flowers and decorate for weddings, parties, and special events for his family and friends. He also learned calligraphy and used this talent to address wedding invitations for family and friends.
In addition to flower arranging and gardening, Sy loved bicycle riding, and he rode with the JIMBOS (Joe Ingrao Memorial Biking Organization) on the Withlacoochee Trails up until two years ago. He also served with the Marion County Elections Office for 20 years in numerous positions. One of his greatest joys was greeting voters at the polls before each election.
He was a member at First Baptist church for many years where he sang in the choir and volunteered in many capacities. He and Nancy are original members of Church of Hope where they served in the Hope Cafe for 10 years. Nothing was more important to Sy than his family, and he was able to gather with all 17 of them in late June.
He was survived by his wife, Nancy; his daughters, Anna (Ben) and Sally (Philip); his grand-children, Bo (Mary Grace), Abby (Matt), Awbrey (Drew), Mason, and Austin; and his great-grandchildren, Bowen, Harper, Collins, and Grady.
Even though he was a loyal Clemson tiger fan to the end, he proudly wore his University of Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Transylvania, University of West Florida, and University of North Florida shirts to support his children and grand-children and would brag about them to anyone who would listen.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Marion County Hospice, 3231 SW 34th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474. A celebration of his life will be held on August 20th which would have been his 89th birthday. Please join us for a virtual service at hopeinocala.com at 7 p.m. EST.