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Los Gatos Death Notice: Beloved Surgeon Rives Coleman Chalmers Dies

Former Los Gatos Community Hospital chief of staff dies Nov. 16, 2013.

Death notices and obituaries will be published on Los Gatos Patch free or charge on Tuesdays. Send your obits to sheila.sanchez@patch.com. Thank you. Patch graphic
Death notices and obituaries will be published on Los Gatos Patch free or charge on Tuesdays. Send your obits to sheila.sanchez@patch.com. Thank you. Patch graphic
Dr. Rives Coleman Chalmers, who practiced medicine for more than 30 years at Los Gatos Community Hospital, died Nov. 16, 2013. He was 66.

Chalmers was born in Atlanta, GA, on May 13, 1947.

He graduated from Westminster High School in 1965.

He attended Yale University where he received a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry in 1969. He earned a doctoral degree in medicine from Emory University in 1973.

After a year of medical internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he joined the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon.

In 1978, he began an orthopedic residency program through the U.S. Air Force attached to the Regional Medical Center in Oakland, CA.

He was fortunate to study hand surgery at Charity and Ochsner Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans, LA, with the late Dr. Daniel Riordan.

During his time of military service, he and his family were stationed at Brooks Air Force Base, Charleston Air Force Base, Wright-Patterson Air Force, and Travis Air Force Base, where he flew missions to Vietnam.

After leaving the service with an honorable discharge in 1981, he moved his family to Los Gatos and began a private practice in orthopedics where he practiced medicine for 31 years at Los Gatos Community Hospital.

During this time, he served multiple times as chief of orthopedic surgery and on the peer review board, and in 1998 was named chief of staff at the hospital.

During his time in California, he participated in the Santa Clara County Medical Association, the largest medical society in California. He was elected president by his peers in 2012, which he deemed the greatest honor of his medical career.

He considered the successful care of his patients spanning 40 years to be the greatest testament to his passion and aptitude in his chosen profession.

As a scholar and athlete, he won the Georgia State Decathlon his senior year of high school and was a member of the renowned 1968-1969 Yale track team. He later competed at the Highland Games in Scotland in front of the Queen of England, won many community club tennis championships in Saratoga, completed two marathons, and conquered four mountains in the Death Ride bike race in Lake Tahoe at age 62.

He was a passionate aviator and loved flying his Cessna 210 and later his Long-EZ across the United States and Mexico.

He owned 31 motorcycles during his lifetime and rode the many backroads of the United States on motorcycle trips with his daughter and good friends.

Serving his church and community was another passion. He and his wife Ann taught Sunday school for several years, and he sang in the choir at Saratoga Federated Church in Saratoga.

He participated in many missionary trips to Mexico as the "team doctor" to support building houses for the poor. After Sept. 11, 2001, he re-enlisted into the Air Force Reserve and after three years, he resigned his commission as a Lieutenant Colonel.

He died Nov. 16, 2013, surrounded by his family for whom he was a beloved husband, adored father, concerned brother, and faithful friend.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ann Jernigan Chalmers, his children, Alexander Rives Chalmers, John Parker Jernigan Chalmers, Jennifer Ann Chalmers, their spouses Anna Seibert, Ashley Harrington Chalmers, David Aaron Farcht, and his grandchildren Avery Elizabeth Chalmers and Kaitlyn Grace Chalmers, his brother David Wilson Chalmers, and sisters Alice Gordon Chalmers, Beth Thornton, and Dana Pittard, and many nieces and nephews.

Private interment was held Nov. 25 at Monticello Memorial Gardens in Charlottesville, VA.

A public memorial service will be held Jan. 11, 2014, at Saratoga Federated Church in Saratoga, CA at 3 p.m..

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Hospice Atlanta or Hospice of the Valley Santa Clara. You may make a donation securely online at www.vnhs.org or http://www.hospicevalley.org/, respectively.


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Cyrus Tabari December 03, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Sorry to hear this sad new. Dr. Chalmers was such a nice guy and a terrific doctor.
Jeremy Barousse December 03, 2013 at 03:34 PM
My condolences to the family. It sounds like he had an impressive medical career, something to be celebrated!
Marilyn Leonard December 04, 2013 at 12:38 AM
What a great life! He will be missed. Condolences to his family and friends.

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