Mitchell Keith Rivenbark
RALEIGH - Mitchell Keith Rivenbark (Keith), of Raleigh, NC, passed suddenly on June 18, 2020, at Duke University Medical Center during a procedure. Keith is survived by his wife and love of his life, whom he called his goddess, Phoebe Morgan Johnson Rivenbark, of Raleigh; his sister Leigh Rivenbark, her husband Andrew John Skinner, and beloved niece, Emma Charlotte Ruth Skinner, all of Vienna, VA.
Keith was born October 24, 1959 in Wilson, NC, the son of the late Mallory Pittman Rivenbark (Feenie) and Eliza Maxwell Rivenbark of Rocky Mount. He is also pre-deceased by his late grandmother Emma Williams Maxwell of Stedman, NC, who was a fixture in their home growing up and instilled in him the charm, tastes, and values of a true Southern gentleman.
After graduating from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1978, Keith graduated with a BA in History from Atlantic Christian College in 1982, a Master's Degree in Education from East Carolina University in 1987, and a Graduate Gemologist Degree from the Gemological Institute of America. He was awarded the title of Registered Jeweler by the American Gem Society, was a Standing Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, and a Registrant of the World Gold Council. Along with several other jewelry businesses in and around Raleigh, he was a partner, owner, and the life, blood, and soul of CMI Jewelry Showroom for over twenty years. As a Graduate Gemologist and recognized authority on fine jewelry, his sales, design and appraisal skills were sought out by thousands.
Keith was honored to be invited on a private tour of the vaults of the Smithsonian Institution's Gemological exhibits, holding The Star of India, The Hope Diamond and The Mackay Emerald in his skilled hands. He developed many close relationships with multiple generations of his customers, whom he looked upon as friends and often as family. During this challenging and uncertain time, Keith would be honored by his clients' continued support of the business he worked so hard to build.
He knew his time in this world was limited, which led Keith to live every day to its fullest. He lived a colorful, fabulous life, and touched many with his kindness and generosity, spoiling mercilessly those whom he loved. Keith was a lover and collector of fine wine and cigars, beauty, art and precious gems. He found great joy in working on the garden he created, expanding it to the neighbors' yards for all to enjoy for years to come.
Keith was not one to mourn, he believed in celebrating life, instead. A memorial service will be held in October in the garden to celebrate his life.
In honor of Keith's life, Phoebe's goal is to create a larger, even more beautiful neighborhood garden and name it Rivenbark Park, which will extend behind the homes along the creek flowing through the neighborhood. In lieu of flowers, donations to fund the expansion project can be made to Phoebe Rivenbark/Rivenbark Park Memorial Fund, c/o First Citizen's Bank, 7001 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27615. Donations of labor for this project will be appreciated at a later date.