I am sad to report that Raeford Staff Member Carlos Rivers passed away this morning. Carlos was standing on the ground at CSS in Louisburg, NC having a conversation with one of the staff, and suffered some sort of physical collapse.
I have no details as to the cause of death, or as to arrangements for funeral or memorial services. I will post them when I get them.
Carlos was an active Tandem Instructor and Coach on staff at Raeford Parachute Center. He was 60 years old, and very fit. He will be missed by all of us at Raeford.
I personally have known Carlos for a long time. He was a retired Special Forces Warrant Officer, and served his country for a large portion of his life. He was also a fellow Vermonter, which he reminded others of often when we were together. I shared a lot of airplane rides and skydives with Carlos, and I will miss him greatly. He was one of the most professional and team oriented instructors I have ever worked with, and treated his students with utmost respect.
Please trust me to report details as they come in. To my knowledge, this incident was not skydiving related. I will post details as I get them.
Please post respectfully, as Carlos' family will likely read this thread.
My heart goes out to his family. My wife and I have experienced two deaths in our immediate family in the past 3 weeks, so I feel their pain. My deepest, sincerest respect, sympathy and prayers for his family.
Carlos was such a nice human being. As a "newbie" to the sport of skydiving and having spent many hours just hanging out at RPC getting up the nerve to start AFF I had the opportunity to talk with Carlos on numerous occassions. I had the priviledge of watching him take very close friends of mine on their first tandems and always admired his candor, sense of adventure and friendship he extended to those he was preparing to jump. He always made me feel welcome on the DZ and I feel confident that he did the same for countless others.
Farewell my friend. I look forward to seeing you in heaven where we can share that tandem we never got the chance to at RPC.
The funeral will be at: St. James Lutheran Church 1424 Morganton Rd Fayetteville, NC 28305 910-484-8052 It is not yet clear if the family will have the funeral on Sunday July 11th or Monday July 12th. Slotperfect will post as soon as the family decides.
God bless you Carlos, your family and friends. We will miss you at Raeford school. You were always a professional with students, willing to learn yourself, always a shoulder to lean on when a staff member or friend needed you and had a wonderful sense of humor.
Carlos was a fantastic person and a great friend. He, at age 60 was always striving to better himself as an instructor. Everybody liked him as he exuded a light, happy attitude. He had endless energy and worked his ass off. A very experienced tandem instructor and Coach, Carlos had been training to attend the AFF Instructor Qualification Course that is running this month here at Raeford. He was up at CSS with two rigs about to make a bunch of train-up jumps in preparation for the course. Carlos was a very fit man. Tan, good looking, rode his Harley to the DZ most days. I was incredulous when I heard the news than he had simply fell over dead. Unbelievable. I spent a great deal of time with Carlos over the past few years and was happy to have him on staff.
I missed Carlos when he left CSS but always looked forward to his big smile and a hug whenever I was in Raeford. Now I will miss that even more. Thanks, Carlos, for the instruction, the skydives and that big smile.
John, please let us know the date and time of the services as soon as you know them.