Dexter Rivett, a Sacramento native with longtime family links to the city’s history, died Dec. 28 at an assisted-living facility in Roseville. He was 92.
Mr. Rivett’s great-grandfather arrived in the city in 1852 and built one of the first buildings near Second and J streets, housing a tavern, in what is now Old Sacramento.
His son, Rob Rivett, and a close family friend, Jean Wallis, described Mr. Rivett as a delightful, admirable man.
Dexter Rivett’s grandfather, Edgar Rivett, was the first to buy stamps at Sacramento’s old U.S. Post Office when it opened in 1933, the family said. He placed one on a letter to his daughter-in-law and the other to his grandson, who was 11 at the time. The boy’s stamped letter became a keepsake, according to a Sacramento Bee article published three years ago, about the time the postal operations were relocated.
Mr. Rivett graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in 1940 and joined the U.S. Army as a photographer during World War II. He was sent to Chile to photograph munitions testing high in the mountains.
After the war, he returned to Sacramento, where he met Ginger Centers. The two were married Dec. 27, 1945. The couple celebrated their 69th anniversary the day before he died.
“Not only was he a good friend, but he was someone I admired,” Wallis said. “He had a lot of integrity and outstanding morals.”
After leaving the Army, Mr. Rivett went to work for the Sacramento Union newspaper and then for McClatchy, The Sacramento Bee’s parent company. He worked in the public relations department and then in the research department at McClatchy Broadcasting for 28 years, before going in to commercial real estate, his son said.
Rob Rivett and Wallis recalled Mr. Rivett as a prolific painter and a talented caricaturist.
“All of his children and grandchildren have his paintings in their homes,” Rob Rivett said. He said his father was “the kind of guy who loved everything he saw.”
“He just appreciated everything, appreciated the world, appreciated people and appreciated the earth,” the son said. “He loved to just walk up to people and say hello.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Rivett is survived by three children, nine grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Rivett was active at Fremont Presbyterian Church. At 11 a.m. Feb. 7, a memorial service will be held for him at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in the Wells Chapel, 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Call The Bee’s Ellen Garrison at (916) 321-1006.