Deacon Ishmael Rivers departed this life on Dec. 4, 2017, at KershawHealth Medical Center at Camden.

He was born on Aug. 1, 1927, in Sumter, a son of the late Ishmael and Isabella Rivers. He attended the public schools in Sumter and moved to Philadelphia in 1944, where he was employed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard until being drafted into the U.S. Army. He was employed in 1951 at the Naval Publications and Forms Center in Philadelphia, until his retirement in 1984. He was a member of Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia. After relocating to Camden, he joined Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, where he was a faithful member and served as a dedicated deacon from January 1996 until he became ill.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Marlene J. Rivers; five children, Gregory Rivers and Darnella Small (Rey), both of Philadelphia, Steven Rivers of Newport News, Virginia, and Mark Rivers and Michele Savoris, both of Camden; a sister, Isabell Weeks (Abraham) of Philadelphia; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

His homegoing service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday at Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Marion H. Newton officiating.

He will be placed in the church at noon for viewing until the hour of service.

Interment will follow at Hillside Memorial Park.

The family is receiving friends from 1 to 7 p.m. at the home, 1106 Gary Road, Camden, SC 29020.

The staff of Sumter Funeral Service Inc. is in charge of arrangements.