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Rivers Singleton Jr.

1939 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Rivers Singleton Jr. Obituary
Rivers Singleton, Jr.

AGE: 75 • Newark

Rivers Singleton, Jr., of Newark, DE, passed away Monday, February 23, 2015 after a brief illness due to complications from multiple sclerosis.

Born September 2, 1939 in New Orleans, LA, he was the son of the late Rivers Singleton, Sr and Bernadette Erie Singleton.

His early education was in Jefferson Parish, LA. However, the most impactful educational experience of his life was in attending Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. While at Trinity, he received a Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry, held office as President of the Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, served in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps as a US Army Officer Reservist, and, most importantly, met his future spouse, Patricia Sams. Following graduation from Trinity in 1961, his active duty was briefly deferred as he worked towards a graduate fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI, where he received a Master's of Science in Biochemistry. Rivers then served the US Army as a Clinical Chemistry laboratory supervisor at Fort Hamilton, NY for several years, before beginning work toward a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS.

He then went to the second most significant academic milestone that impacted his future academic life, as the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, OH where he continued his work on the biochemistry of bacteria. Following a fellowship with the National Science Foundation at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA, Rivers moved to the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware in 1974, where he advanced through the ranks until his retirement in 2013. While at UD, his teaching and research interests spanned the sciences and humanities, and impacted nearly 40 years of students.

Outside of his academic work, Rivers was an avid enthusiast of the Arts; he enjoyed photography, regularly attended the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and was a long-standing patron of the Resident Ensemble Program of the Department of Theater at the University of Delaware.

He was preceded in death by his spouse of 49 years, Patricia Sams Singleton, and is survived by three children and their spouses/partners; David R. Singleton/Joan Carpenter, Melissa S. Josef/Kurt Josef, and Eric C. Singleton/Jennifer Maden; four grandchildren, Robin G. and Meredith P. Singleton; Luke R. and Elena C. Josef; and one step-granddaughter, Madeline M. Josef.

A memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon, March 21, 2015 at the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, DE, 292 West Main Street, Newark, DE 19711 followed by a reception next door at the Newark Country Club. Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by visiting: or to First Presbyterian Church of Newark at the address listed above.

To sign guest book, visit





Published in The News Journal from Mar. 1 to Mar. 21, 2015
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