Robert Henry LaRiviere, a resident of Washington since the 1970s, died of arteriosclerosis on Nov. 13. He was 61.
LaRiviere came of age during the intellectual fervor of the gay liberation days of the early 1970s and continued to participate in major LGBT events and support gay culture. LaRiviere maintained a lifelong love of literature, opera, theater and film, and had an extensive library of classical and contemporary literature, gay fiction and non-fiction, and camp books and films. He was a member of the Washington Psychotronic Film Society.
LaRiviere was born on May 19, 1951 in Methuen, Mass., and grew up in New Hampshire, where he received a bachelor’s degree in education from Plymouth State University. He taught high school in New Hampshire before moving to D.C. Once in D.C., LaRiviere earned a programming certificate from the Computer Learning Center and had a long and successful career working for Advance Inc., INTELSAT, Otsuka America and the Federal Trade Commission. He specialized in electronic document management and brought his skill set to his own private collection.
For the past 25 years, LaRiviere lived in the Eckington neighborhood. An urban person, he walked everywhere in the city, relying only when necessary on public transportation. In his walks, he was often accompanied by one of his beloved rescue dogs. His love of cities led him to travel to Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco, and especially to New York, which he referred to as his Oz.
LaRiviere is survived by four siblings — Elaine Marcum and Lynne Bova of New Hampshire and June Troth and Craig LaRiviere of Texas; and many friends, including two special lifetime friends, Alayna Waldrum and Chuck Goldfarb. A celebration of LaRiviere’s life is planned for March.
Bob was a caring and generous person who quietly provided financial support to friends in need as well as to community organizations. Donations may be made in his memory to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (au.org), the Washington Animal Rescue League (warl.org) or the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (smyal.org).