The memory of Louisville’s Thomas Rivers honored
I reflect on the life and passing of one of Louisville’s native sons, Thomas Rivers.
Thomas was the precious and only child of “Tommy” and Jewel Rivers. He was a bright inquisitive child who loved to read and participate in school activities. His physical disabilities limited his progress, but not his desire to communicate or discuss current topics. His good memory and abrupt conversational style left an impression on everyone.
Once, I showed up for church in an unusually dirty car, and Thomas commented, “That car won’t wash itself, will it?” How true it was. The point was, Thomas noticed, cared and wanted to have a conversation. Thomas noticed what was going on in Louisville and he cared.
He was a dedicated and loving son to his mother in her final months. He walked all over town to accommodate her needs in good weather and bad weather, only occasionally accepting a ride from a friend.
He was dedicated to his church and his church family, often calling to check on anyone who missed a service.
After his mother’s passing, Thomas had to make a decision; to move with relatives to Macon, or remain on his own in Louisville. Thomas chose Louisville, for his friends, his church family, his individual lifestyle - walking everywhere he needed to go. Thomas routinely walked to the post office, the hospital, the grocery store, and all points in between. Thomas chose Louisville because he was comfortable here and he loved the people of Louisville.
Thomas was a humble witty citizen who enjoyed his life in Louisville and was surrounded by friends who tried to help him as often as possible. Thomas took great pride in his independence and only rarely accepted help and always expressed his appreciation. The fact that he could live his life in Louisville, in the relative safety of our community is wonderful. We should all rejoice in this fact.
Thomas’ untimely passing emphasizes the need to add more protection to the U.S. Hwy 1 by-pass with sidewalks, better lighting, and pedestrian crosswalks. Many pedestrians routinely dash across this busy road to shop and return home. We should all be involved in the effort to safe guard our most valuable resource - our citizens.
God Bless Thomas, he will be missed.
John H. Lewis