The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 16, 2013

Earl Herman Rivenburg

Published 5-17-13

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Service for Mr. Earl Herman Rivenburg, 82, of Gilmer, Texas, will be 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Croley Funeral Home Chapel in Gilmer, with Pastor Kerry Roy officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Park. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. today, May 17, 2013, at the funeral home.

Mr. Rivenburg passed away on Monday, May 13, 2013, at Wesley Oaks Memory Care Center in Sulphur Springs, Texas, from complications of pneumonia.

He was born Dec. 6, 1930, in Peabody, Kan., to Hugh and Elizabeth Rivenburg.

Earl was their fifth and final child, as his mother died shortly after his birth. He was given to a hired hand and his wife to raise and unfortunately, his was not a happy childhood.

At an early age, he set out on his own and was taken in by Emma Seifert as a farmhand in Carrier, Okla., where he graduated from high school in 1948. It was here that he met and married his first wife, who bore his two children.

Earl enlisted in the Army in 1953, and served three years at Fort Chaffe in Arkansas as head cook to the Generals.

After his honorable discharge, he returned to Enid, Okla., and farmed, raised cattle and trained horses.

Earl was a 4-H leader and an active member of the Cherokee Strip Round-Up Club, Paint Horse Association and Quarter Horse Association.

In 1980, Earl moved to Texas. He held several jobs remodeling homes and never missed a chance to “cut a rug” at the Elks or Moose Lodge. He took pride in making the local ladies swoon (and married a few of them). Earl never met a stranger.

In his later years, he could be found most Sunday afternoons at his brother, Edwin’s farm in Big Sandy, Texas, playing horseshoes and eating homemade ice cream. Earl’s final years were spent in Gilmer, Texas, where he enjoyed a special friendship with Betty Dempe.

After surviving two, near fatal car accidents, Earl spent the remainder of his life in the memory care unit at Wesley Oaks in Sulphur Springs. The caring and professional staff there, were his family and he grew to love them all and they loved him.

Earl is survived by two children: daughter, Bridget Ciliberti and her three sons, Nicholas, Nathan and Lucas, who brought joy to his life through song; son, Austin and wife Emel and their son, Aslan of Peterborough, United Kingdom, and he also leaves several nieces and nephews that will cherish his memory.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Marjorie Phillips, and brothers Kenneth, Robert and Edwin Rivenburg.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Autism Speaks, or mail to Autism Speaks, 6330 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 401, Los Angeles, CA 90048 as Earl’s grandson, Nathan, suffers from this dibilating disease.

Please leave online condolences at

(Submitted by family)