Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Rifes in:
 • East Kern Cemetery
 • Mojave
 • Kern County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Gerald Anderson "Blacky" Rife
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Jul. 29, 1919
Marion County
Missouri, USA
Death: Aug. 7, 1948
Kern County
California, USA


Death: RIFE, Gerald Anderson
Author: Don Stowell Date: 24 Feb 2005 3:39 AM GMT
Surnames: Koch,
Classification: Death

Posted by East Kern Genealogical Society
Courtesy of Mojave Desert News, California City, Kern, CA


Becoming despondent over business conditions Gerald Anderson Rife, 32, took his own life on Saturday night last firing a 38 calibre bullet into his brain. Death was instantaneous. He is survived by his wife, Florence and two small children, Daniel, 5 and Gerald, 2, his mother, Mrs. Josephine Rife of Missouri, brother Oral, of Wichita, Kansas and a sister, Mrs. Virginia Koch of Missouri.
Mr. Rife was born in Oakwood Mo., on July 16, 1916 and at the time of his death was engaged in the vegetable distribution business in Mojave and Antelope Valley and had many friends.
The funeral was held yesterday afternoon at two o'clock and as a mark of respect all business establishments closed their doors during the last rites which were conducted by the Rev. John C Hanchett, pastor of the Community Congregational Church at the
O'Donnell Funeral Home Chapel. Interrment was in the Mojave cemetery.
The Rife's operated a small grocery in Mojave and the ladies of the Mojave Coffee Club, of which Florence was a member are keeping the store open for her, working in two hour relays, a nice gesture on their part.
We will miss "Blackie's" smiling face as he was well liked. He had charge of the Carnival concessions for the coming Gold Rush Days and it will be difficult. to replace him since in his early life he followed this world and was an expert "carnival” man.

Mojave Desert News 12 Aug 1948

Blackie Rife As Seen by Friends and Associates
by Joseph Martinez
The entire populace of Mojave was shocked at the sudden and tragic end of Gerald A. Rife, commonly known to Mojavians as "Blacky". It isn't an easy undertaking to write-up the death of a friend. If this were a large community and we were a large newspaper, Blacky's death would be smeared from one end of the front page to the other in the best tabloid manner.
The reverse of this statement is true! This is a very small town and we all attempt to live harmoniously together; for us to write a story in a style acceptable and called for in a large newspaper would undoubtedly do more harm than good to close relatives of the deceased. Blacky was full of life and very much a character and there's no doubt about it, he rates a story or a personality sketch.
Blacky was loaded with memorable traits which made folks react to him in either a positive or negative fashion. An old philosopher once said,” We remember those whom we love or dislike; we seldom remember a neutral personality." This is truly a self evident statement for in either case, theirs is a magnetic mentality which has the ability to impress whether in a favorable light or otherwise! Such was Blacky's case, he was no paragon of virtue and didn't claim to be! He had an inherent characteristic of out-spoke ness which approached a near-lack of diplomacy. He uttered whatever came to his mind and sometimes paid for it in modern society's accepted manner of reprisal.
One of our younger-set, Billy Richardson and I made a trip to the Los Angeles Produce Market with Blacky one night. I’m sure Billy will remember it for I was certainly impressed. It brought out the blunt speech and quaint characteristics of an outdoor man who is accepted and liked by others of his kind. The greetings which he had for everyone were what some fastidious person would term uncouth perhaps. At any rate Bill and I, were kept in stitches by the antics of this jovial madman. He cajoled wheedled and insulted until he had achieved the merchandise he was after. They called him the Desert Rat, and said, "Here comes the damned desert rat, hide the fresh fruit!" That was Blacky, a domineering character whose personality was imposing in any crowd.
Despite the fact that very few men have nothing but friends, we are forced to admit that the man with a dominant manner is envied by others who do not possess this trait. It seems to me that, if we were completely honest with ourselves and thought of Blacky in this light, we would doff our hats, and render a salute in memory of Blacky-A man's man!

Mojave Desert News 12 Aug 1948

1920 United States Federal Census Record
about Gerald Rife
Name: Gerald Rife
Age: 6 months
Estimated birth year: abt 1919
Birthplace: Missouri
Race: White
Home in 1920: Hannibal Ward 5, Marion, Missouri
Sex: Male
Marital status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Mother's Birth Place: Missouri
Father's Birth Place: Illinois
Image: 1067
Enumerated in the household of Sibisca and Josephine Rife.

1930 United States Federal Census Record
about Gerald Rife
Name: Gerald Rife
Age: 10
Estimated birth year: abt 1920
Relation to head-of-house: Son
Home in 1930: Hannibal, Marion, Missouri
Enumerated in the household of Daniel Rife.

Father: Daniel Sabisca RIFE b: 10 Apr 1864 in Hull Station,Pike Co.,IL
Mother: Josephine Blanche ANDERSON b: 5 Apr 1881 in Marion Co.,MO

Family links: 
  Daniel Sabisca Rife (1864 - 1945)
  Josephine Blanche Anderson Rife (1881 - 1951)
  Joseph A Rife (1890 - 1914)**
  Benjamin Oral Rife (1893 - 1958)**
  Joseph Anderson Oral Rife (1915 - 1970)*
  Virginia M Koch (1916 - 1980)*
  Gerald Anderson Rife (1919 - 1948)
*Calculated relationship
East Kern Cemetery
Kern County
California, USA
Plot: Section E, Plot 2
Created by: Diana Satterfield
Record added: Jan 22, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10357832
Gerald Anderson Blacky Rife
Added by: Dave Rife
Gerald Anderson Blacky Rife
Added by: Tami Kelley
Gerald Anderson Blacky Rife
Cemetery Photo
Added by: William Tatum
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Be at peace,
- Honoring our ancestors
 Added: Jun. 28, 2007

- Diana Satterfield
 Added: Nov. 20, 2005

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service