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“The last time i talked to Wayland he stopped at my house to talk about an old Porsche that I had for sale. What an amazing guy! He will be missed....Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Greg Talley - Austin, TX - friend

“I knew Sam as "Wayland." We were in Cabin 3 Commanches and Cabin 4-1/2 Foxes second term Camp Longhorn back in 1967 & 68. I, just like Wayland,...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Bob Parkey - Houston, TX

“So, so sorry to hear about Wayland "Sam" passing. He will be missed by so many. ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: Claire Netherton Wendlandt - TX

Easter Sunday 2013 “Sam I never got to meet you but I felt like I had because of the wonderful things your mom had to say about you. Enjoy the river of life in heaven... ”
4 of 9 | Posted by: Janet Martinez - Austin, TX

“Sam was a generous soul and a good friend. I will miss his joy of life and his laughter, and will always think of him fondly when I visit the rivers...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Annalisa Peace - San Antonio, TX

“We are so sorry for your loss! Sam always had a smile and kind word when we would meet. He was such a creative soul and I will never forget our...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: A friend

“I am so sorry to hear of your sweet brother's/son's death. What an accomplished man he became after I knew him in high school. God bless him and all...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Lee Case - Uvalde, TX

“Love you my brother...will miss your beautiful smile and flare for fun on the water. Happy paddling on that clear, clean, and flowing creek...and...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Jason Pinchback - Henly, TX

“What a beautiful life for one of the most beautiful little boys I ever new. My hear breaks for you loss. ”
9 of 9 | Posted by: Susan deGraffenried - Austin


Wayland Coats Rivers, III was born December 5, 1957 in Austin, Texas. He died April 10, 2013 in Llano County, Texas. He graduated from S. F. Austin High School in 1976 and earned a BA in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1980.
Wayland, or "Sam" as he preferred simply to be called, was a talented athlete and creative thinker, a poet, an artist and a musician. From his early youth he enjoyed competitive swimming and went on to become a record-holder in multiple swimming events across the State of Texas and in Mexico. Always a lover of water sports in particular, Sam treasured many fond memories of Camp Longhorn. As a young adult living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he discovered a new way to enjoy the water: competitive and recreational rowing, an avocation he brought back to Austin when he founded Texas Rowing on Town Lake in the early 1990's. Most recently, he designed and produced several models of stand-up paddleboards. A passionate driver and collector of automobiles, Sam's great love of the out-of-doors embraced the wind in his face.
Sam's artistic talents encompassed writing, drawing, welding, piano and photography. In college, he pursued environmental design, applying his many creative and innovative ideas to the implementation of environmentally-friendly building materials and methods, as well as to concepts for forward-thinking community development.
The passion in his heart was always fueled by the water. Sam became an outspoken defender and protector of our local rivers, springs and aquifers, as befits the Rivers family name. He frequently spoke before advisory boards and city council meetings in Wimberley and New Braunfels.
Sam is survived by his mother Jo Ellen Larkin Finley, his beloved daughter, Claire O'Shaughnessy Rivers, and his two sisters, Adrienne Rivers Pappas and Lucy Rivers Patier.
Services will be private. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, P.O. Box 2534, Wimberley, TX 78676 or to the charitable organization of your choice.