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Obituary: Carmen Rivera, Longtime Ave Maria Resident

carmenrivera200Carmen Rivera, who moved to Ave Maria with her husband, Jose, in 2010, passed away Saturday, Oct. 8, at age 71.

Mrs. Rivera was introduced to Ave Maria by her son Joe Rivera, a real estate agent in town. She fell in love with the town and for a time volunteered at Ave Maria University.

A native of Orocovis, Puerto Rico, she came to the mainland United States at age of 14, initially settling in New York City with her family. Soon afterwards, they moved to Waterbury, Conn., where she met her husband of 55 years, Jose ("Pepito") Rivera, and raised four children. In Waturbury, she worked as a medical assistant at the Center for Women's Health.

In addition to her husband and son Joe, Carmen is survived by her three other children, Awilda (David) Rowe of Lawrenceville, NJ, Ada Rivera of Middletown, Conn., and Nelida (Mitch) Rivera-Gauthier of Dallas, Texas as well as grandchildren Luke, Jacob and Samantha Gauthier, and Ethan and Olivia Rowe. She is also survived by her sisters, Maria (Gary) DellaRocco of Boston, Mass. and Ann Brewer of Waterbury, Conn., as well as her nephews Michael Velasquez of Southington, Conn. and David DellaRocco of Boston, Mass.; and her niece Nicole DellaRocco, also of Boston, Mass.

A general visitation will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Fuller Funeral Home located in Naples, Fla. at 4735 Tamiami Trail East from 5 to 8 p.m. There also will be a general visitation in Ave Maria from noon to 1 p.m. before a Mass of Christian Burial at the Oratory. Interment will follow at the Palm Royale Cemetery & Mausoleum (www.palmroyale.net) located at 6780 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples, Fla. All are invited to a reception afterwards at the Ave Maria Parish Hall located at 5068 Annunciation Circle, Suite102, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The family wishes to extend a special thank-you to the staff at the Naples Community Hospital for their warm and compassionate care during her last days.

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