Donald John Rivette died peacefully on March 19, 2019, at his winter residence in Palmetto, Florida. He was 81.
Cremation has taken place. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church of Maple Grove, 17994 Lincoln Road, New Lothrop. Visitation will be held at the church that same day, from 9 a.m. until the Mass begins. A private ceremony with military honors will take place at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.
Don was born on September 1, 1937, in Saginaw, Michigan, to Bertrand and Sara Louise (Meehleder) Rivette. He was a graduate of St. Andrew High School in Saginaw and a U.S. Army Veteran.
He married Patricia Wendling on June 13, 1959, and together they raised five children on a small farm in Montrose, Michigan. Don worked his entire career as a millwright for GM, retiring early enough in his life to allow him time to travel and enjoy his family. Many people in the community knew Don as the owner of Outdoor Sports Supply, a family-run business for nearly a decade.
When he wasn’t camping in Alaska, cheering on (or complaining about) the Detroit Tigers, fishing on the bay, building decks in his retirement community in Palmetto, Florida, or spending time with his Florida family at the “Happy Hour Table,” Don was collecting model trains. His massive train display spanned his entire basement, each detailed piece placed with care. An evening at Don’s house wasn’t complete without at least one hand of cards, his favorites being Euchre, 99 and Texas Hold-‘Em. And, you knew it was a party at the Rivette household if a pot of gumbo (Don’s family recipe) was bubbling on the stove — Don left the cooking to his wife, Pat, but enjoyed the title as Official Taste Tester.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia; their five children: Donna (Kevin) Henige, Dale (Lisa) Rivette, Dolores (Keith) Henige, Don (Julie) Rivette, and Diane Krupp; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren (with two more on the way); his brothers-in-law, Ron (Ginny) Wendling, Larry (Dorothy) Wendling, Carl Wendling and Eugene Wendling; and his sisters-in-law Helene Wendling and Dottie Rivette. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Lucille Bauer and Sara Wendling; his brother-in-law, Dick Bauer; his brother, Bert Rivette; and his son-in-law, Keith Krupp.
Don’s family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to his longtime physician, Dr. Thomas Teal, the staff at Wellspring Hospice and Tidewell Hospice, and to Don and Pat’s Florida family for their outpouring of love and support through this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make contributions in Don’s memory can donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or to the Family’s Wishes. You may light a memorial candle or share a memory at misiukfuneralhome.com.
Donations may be made to:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105