Andrew J. Rivers, III, 52, of Auburn, MA, was called home on Saturday, June 29, when he passed away in his sleep after an off and on 20-year battle with cancer.

Andy is survived by his devoted wife of 20 years, Cheryl (Palleschi) Rivers. He also leaves behind his two step sons, Kyle and Tyler Beede, whom he lovingly called his own, and their wives Rachelle and Allie, all from Texas. He loved being a new Papa to Braxton Drew. He also leaves behind his mother Penny Holmes of Oxford, MA, his sister Brenda Coleman, her husband John, nephew John, his niece Caliana Drew and a great-niece Cecilia. He also leaves behind his mother-in-law Marie Jenkins, his father-in-law Dick Palleschi, and his wife Barbara Voigt, his sister-in-law Cindy Turo and Jason David, along with his nephew Dante Turo. In addition to his immediate family he leaves behind a slew of loyal family members, friends and fellow musicians who loved him dearly. Last but certainly not least, he leaves behind his beloved feline friend Mimi.

Andrew was born on February 26, 1967 in Worcester, MA. He grew up in Worcester and attended Burncoat High School. After high school, Andy began his 30-year career at Shaw’s Supermarkets, as department manager, most recently at the Shrewsbury location.

This veteran guitar player and all-around amazing person was known as a “rock god” locally. A stellar guitarist (“the guy should have been famous!”), he set a standard for that “rock god” status in the area that was vibrant with live bands competing for the stages. He commanded those stages, playing in well-known bands Noizy Boyz, Take the Pain, Pet Rock, Bammies, Counter Attack and Killer Queen. With a rare mixture of talent and humbleness, his skills on the frets were unmatched, channeling the complicated, artful work of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Queen’s Brian May down to the finest of notes. Fans were continuously blown away. Who else besides Page could even do the bow to the guitar part in How Many More Times? Andy could.

Andy married the love of his life, Cheryl, on April 3, 1999. It was a love story of the ages, leaving many a little bit (quietly) envious. Cheryl was Andy’s “baby doll.” Their love for each other was apparent always, from their epic beach days in Ogunquit to their quiet tender moments of loving comfort at the end.

A funny guy known to rip out some off-color jokes, he loved riding his Harley, cheering on the SF Giants, and was also a great cook. He loved his garden and his barbecuing, often sharing pictures and recipes with his brother-in-law Jay. He also enjoyed hanging out with his beloved cat Mimi, whom he often walked on a leash.

Calling hours will be held at BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central St., Auburn, MA on Friday July 5, 2019 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Immediately following at 11 a.m. will be a funeral Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 189 Oxford St. N., Auburn, MA. Private burial will be determined by the family at a later date.

The family would like to express gratitude for the continuous compassionate care from the staff at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Dana-Farber in Andy’s name. To see the full obituary, share a memory of Andy and for more information, please visit¬†www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.