Alaska’s humble legend admitted to Order of Founder



MAJOR DOLORES RIVITT is congratulated on being admitted to the Order of the Founder by General John Gowans and Commissioner Gísele Gowans.

Major Dolores Rivitt (R), one of the West’s humble legends, was admitted to the Order of the Founder by General Gowans during the recent Officers’ Councils.

Rivitt–known for her reticence towards the limelight–has served faithfully in the Alaska Division for nearly all of her 50 years of service as both an active and retired officer. During those years, she has endured hardship, served sacrificially, and lived selflessly as she has ministered in various capacities, always with a deep love for Alaska and its people.

“I am extremely pleased that Major Rivitt has been recognized for her service to the people of Alaska,” said Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Terry Griffin. “There is no doubt that God placed in her heart a special love for this place and these people. Her continued service in retirement is a testimony to her dedication and commitment to Christ.”

“Major Dolores Rivitt is bigger than life!” said former Alaska Divisional Commander Colonel Robert Tobin (R). “You need only walk down the street of any city, town or village in Southeast Alaska and see how many people recognize her and want to talk to her about former days. She’s the quintessential pioneer Salvationist.”

Entering training from Bellingham, Wash., she was commissioned in 1950. Her first appointment was to the Sitka Corps, and she has had only three appointments outside Alaska since then. She has served under 15 Alaskan divisional commanders, nearly all of whom have been “trained” by her in the ways of the people and the land.

An adopted member of the Tlingits, Rivitt is often called upon by her extended family in Alaska to conduct baby dedications, funerals or officiate at events. Once, when the population of Kake was heavily hit by the flu virus in the frigid weather, she chopped wood and delivered it to local families so they could keep their fires alive. In affection, her congregation dubbed her “the battleaxe.”

In 1991 she was presented the Certificate in Appreciation of Exceptional Service by (then) Commissioner Paul Rader. This is the second highest award the Army can give an officer or soldier.

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