Wilbur Arnold Rives passed away on August 21, 2021 at UNC Hospice in Pittsboro, NC. A kind, sweet, and humble man of faith, we know he has reunited with his Lord and Savior and his loving wife, Betty, in their heavenly home.
He is loved and survived by his daughter Sandra and son-in-law Jeff Roscoe; two grandchildren, Phillip Roscoe and Nikki Roscoe Julian (Huston); brother William Rives; and sisters-in-law Bobbie Rives, Leora Rives, Mary Cox, Jeanette Phillips, and Elmo Phillips; special cousin Bobby Woody (Sue); and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and devoted friends. He is preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Betty Phillips Rives; sister and brothers Ruby Bouldin, Donald Rives, and Gerald Rives; and brothers- and sisters-in-law Arthur Bouldin, Elaine Rives, B.F. and Hazel Phillips, Bobby Phillips, Lewis Phillips, and Arbutus Cox.
Wilbur was born on August 28, 1932 to Lois and Kenneth Rives on the same farm in Bear Creek where he lived for nearly all of his almost 89 years. He graduated from Bonlee School where he met and began courting Betty. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent two years at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, before returning to his homeplace in Chatham County and raising chickens, cattle, and other livestock. He and Betty had one daughter, Sandra, and together they filled their home with love, joy, wit, and laughter which continued when grandchildren came along.
He was an active member of Meroney United Methodist Church throughout his life and dearly loved his church family who were always a great source of happiness for him. He served 25 years on the Chatham County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee. Over the years, he regularly attended meetings of the Cattlemen’s Association and Central Carolina Antique Tractor and Machinery Club. In his later years, Wilbur could often be found at Elois’ for lunch or Saturday breakfast where he enjoyed the company of friends like Winfred Allen at the communal table and extra kind waitresses like Rhonda Stevens.
Wilbur will be remembered for the love he showed to others, his kind and gentle nature, and his dry sense of humor. The family invites all to join them in honoring his legacy at the funeral services on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 3:00 PM at Meroney UMC (10568 NC Hwy 902, Bear Creek, NC 27207). Services will be held inside, followed by a brief graveside service and a time for outdoor visitation at the church’s picnic shelter. Given the spread of the COVID Delta variant, the family wants to extend their sincere understanding for those who choose not to attend the service and will livestream the service on the Meroney UMC Facebook page. For the health and safety of everyone in attendance, the family requests that all attendees wear masks while inside the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Meroney UMC or to a charity of your choice.