Celebration of Life
Sunday, Jul. 21, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Fairbanks at Raven Landing
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Julian Ralph Rivers

1933 - 2019
Julian Ralph Rivers Obituary
Julian Ralph Rivers was born at St. Joseph's hospital in Fairbanks on Feb. 21, 1933, to Ralph Julian Rivers and Lina Carol (Caldwell) Rivers. He died on March 24, 2019, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage.
He attended schools in Fairbanks and Juneau and graduated from Fairbanks High School in 1951. His interest in music and theater began in elementary school. He studied piano, violin and guitar, acted and sang in school plays and musicals and played tuba in the high school marching band. He attended Stanford University in 1951-52, served in the U.S. Army at Ladd Field in Fairbanks in 1953-55; graduated from the University of Miami (BA) in 1957, the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York 1958-59, the University of Alaska (Masters in English and theater, 1975; MAT in secondary education and med counseling and guidance, 1995).
He worked as a construction surveyor, 1955-84; retired from the Teamsters Union and began a career as a teacher and counselor. He taught English and theater at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and Anchorage, middle school/high school in Brevig Mission and worked as a counselor at the Fairbanks Native Association, Ralph Perdue Center and at Salvation Army Clitheroe Center in Anchorage. He retired from the State of Alaska Public Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System in 2008.
Julian was a compassionate person who cared deeply for his family and friends. He loved theater, film, music, especially opera, and road trips. He created special memories with his granddaughters, staging puppet shows and encouraging them in piano, violin and guitar lessons.
After his second retirement, he managed the Alaska Cottonwood Bed and Breakfast from 2009-17. A great host, he enjoyed sharing his collection of Alaska memorabilia, conducting a film and discussion group on "The Changing Family Structure in Modern American Drama" and "Settling the West" and appearing in "Everybody Loves Whales" in 2010 and "Kids Play" in 2011. In February-March of 2019, he and his wife traveled to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia and attended an opera concert at the Sydney Opera House, a lifelong dream. He leaves a video library of family and friends, a family history and memoir.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Hughes; stepdaughter, Erin Entwhistle McKenzie; granddaughters, Mia and Kira McKenzie; niece, Katherine Huffman (Tim) and their daughter, Emma; sister, Joyce Rivers; niece, Eugenie Rivers (George Ledyard); nephew, Ralph Mansfield (Kathleen); and cousins, Donna McKinstry (David), Robert Wedemeier, Carol Wedemeier, Colleen Rivers, Kelly Rivers (Michelle), Kerry Rivers (Erin) and Victor Rivers. He was preceded in death by his parents; stepson, Colin Entwhistle; and cousins, Keith Rivers and Marlene Grass (Jim).
A celebration of life will be held in Fairbanks at Raven Landing from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, 2019  and in Anchorage during the Sitka Summer Music Festival Autumn Classics, Sept.13-22, 2019, location and time to be announced.
Donations in memory of Julian may be contributed to Fairbanks Drama Association and the Sitka Summer Music Festival.
Published in Daily News-Miner on July 11, 2019
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