Phillip M. Rivers, president and co-owner of Northeast-based Surfside Pool Company, died September 7 after a yearlong battle with stage 4 lung cancer. He was 82.

Friends and family remember him equally for his strong work ethic and generosity.

"He made us realize that we have to work for everything, but that nothing is impossible," said his son, Mark, in a tribute to his late father.

Born and raised in Fitchburg, Mass., Rivers left high school in the 10th grade and joined the U.S. Navy, where he spent 22 years serving overseas on the USS Columbus and stationed in Valetta, Malta.

In 1972, he and a partner started Surfside Pool Company, which has since grown to six locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Read More