Jan. 20, 1933 — Aug. 10, 2008
Born in Los Angeles to A.V. and Dorothea Austin, Sallie Ann Austin Rivers-Fischer died Aug. 10 in Fresno with her family by her side, after being ill for several weeks.
She was 75 years old.
Mrs. Rivers’ family says she definitely had an adventurous streak. Growing up, she owned horses and developed a lifelong love for animals. She was also an actress who appeared on television and at the Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond and other playhouses in the Bay Area.
In 1973, Mrs. Rivers and her family moved to Ben Lomond where she was a district manager for Avon for several years. After that, she started her own fine jewelry business, which she owned up until the time of her death.
In the early ’80s, Sallie saved about 75 wild burros, which were going to be killed by the BLM, near Ridgecrest. She fought the BLM, and the burros were adopted out to loving homes in Santa Cruz County.
For several years, Sallie was also the director for the San Lorenzo Valley Senior Center in Ben Lomond. She made many friends during her tenure. She loved travel and had a special affinity for Thailand and Hawaii. She loved collecting cookbooks and had an extensive collection. Sallie was certainly always on the go, her family says.
After her husband, Gene, died 10 years ago, Mrs. Rivers moved from Ben Lomond to Fresno. There, she became active in the Outdoor Singles Club, The Red Hat Society and the Miata Club. Her family says she was fortunate enough to find love again with Ed Fischer. They were married in Carmel last September.
Sallie is survived by her husband, Ed Fischer of Fresno; daughters, Robin Samuels, and her husband, Jeffrey, of Felton, and Raina Stoops, and her husband, Joe, of Brookings, Ore.; and granddaughters, Lauren and Chloe, both of Brookings.
Also surviving are her siblings, Steve Austin, and his wife, Pat, of Fresno, and Sue Parker of Coronado; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Gene, who died 10 years ago.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at Chapel of the Light, 1620 W. Belmont Ave., in Fresno. Hawaiian attire is preferred.
Memorial contributions may be sent to any animal welfare organization.