Native Houstonian Arthur Bernard Riviere, Jr, "Bernie" was born August 23, 1931 and peacefully passed away June 24, 2020.
He is predeceased by his parents Arthur Bernard "Tink" Riviere and Kathryn "Kate" Jay Harris, brothers Bertrand Jay Riviere and Forrest Hodges, and brother-in-law David Frame.
He is survived by wife Eloise Frame Riviere, son Rob Riviere (Irene), daughter Kathryn Riviere Anderson (Doug) and daughter Kim Riviere Sonnen (Denis)
Stepson Archibald Hamilton Rowan III (Danielle) and Stepdaughter Sydney Rowan Walker (Bruce) and sister-in-law Lou Frame
Grandchildren Ryan Riviere (Anne), Rhett Riviere (Dana), Kari Anderson Dixon (Jason), Eric Anderson, Randy Sonnen (Wendy), Katie Sonnen, and Conner Sonnen
Grady, Ty and Clayton Walker, Archibald Hamilton Rowan IV (Aleks), Savannah Rowan, and Nicholas & Nathan+ Molinski as well as 9 great grandchildren
Other than his family, his other true love was the game of golf. Bernie was introduced to the game at the age of 9 and played in his first golf tournament at Memorial Park at the age of 11.
He grew up in the West University area of Houston and attended Lamar High School where he played on the Boy's golf team that won the Houston City Championship all three years (1947-1949) and they were Texas Boy's High School State Team Champions in 1949.
He is one of only a few 2-time individual champions of the Texas Boy's High School Golf State Championship which he won in 1947 and 1949.
He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1953. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and played on the Men's Golf Team under legendary teacher and coach Harvey Penick from 1949-1953. He was also a member of the Texas Cowboys and was on the committee that named “Smokey” the cannon, that is still fired after every score at UT football games to this day.
In 1956, thanks to the help of Masters Champion Jack Burke, Jr, Bernie obtained a position as assistant golf professional to Shelly Mayfield in the New York City area. He played briefly on the PGA tour with the likes of Jimmy Demaret, Dave Marr, Jay Riviere and Jimmy Burke, some other legendary Houston golfers. The highlight of his career was competing in the 1958 U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK.
From 1960-1990, Bernie worked in the Mortgage lending business where he made numerous loans to many famous and some infamous Houstonians. Bernie was President of Heritage Mortgage and Investment and Mid-America Mortgage during the 1970's and 1980's while this city was realizing tremendous growth in all directions, from NASA/Clear Lake area to The Woodlands to Sugar Land.
In 1995 after retiring from the mortgage and investment business, Bernie was recruited to work with his brother Jay and good friend Dave Marr in the golf course design and construction business. The highlight of this was the revitalization of their beloved Memorial Park Golf Course, where they had spent most of their days as youth playing golf with many of the men he still calls friends to this day.
The great game of golf has been responsible for many of his successes and wonderful memories in his life. He said he would never be where he is today without this fascinating, incredibly challenging game we call golf. He has been blessed to have numerous children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren that are hoping to carry on the Riviere golf legacy.
But perhaps his greatest legacy was his wonderful reputation as a businessman and gentleman. Honest and hardworking, he could go into most any restaurant in Houston and would find someone he knew. He was a true gentleman in every way, and always stood up when a woman walked into the room or approached his table at a restaurant.
This is our Dad, husband, grandfather and friend that we will miss so much. Searching for encouraging words that he might leave us with, we remember him telling a story (of which there were many) when he and his teammates were leaving Austin for the Border Olympics in Laredo, TX, and Harvey Penick couldn't go with them, as he also had duties as head pro at Austin Country Club. Harvey was trying to give the boys instructions about behaving and staying out of trouble, and he finally said "Y’all just do right."
We want to thank Sylvia, Jane, Seasons Hospice and the caregivers at The Village of River Oaks for your kindness and compassionate care the past couple of years.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the First Tee of Greater Houston at www.firstteegreaterhouston.org. A funeral service was held on Saturday at The Church of St. John the Divine. You may view a recording at https://livestream.com/sjd/events/9190433