Manuel ‘Manny” S. Rivera went to be with his Lord and became our Angel on Feb. 6, 2020 - Our beloved Husband, Father, Brother, Tata, Nino, Tio, Compadre, and friend to the many lives he touched.
Manuel is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Lupe, their children Teresa (Don) Wilson, Manuel (Jennifer), Roberto (Patty), Michael (Paula), nine grandchildren, and a great grandchild. Surviving sisters and brother are Luz Granillo, Refugia Borboa, Carmen (Toribio) Norzagaray, and Pancho Rivera, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Manuel is preceded in death by his beloved mother and father, Rosa S. Rivera and Manuel B. Rivera, his brothers Mariano Rivera, Ramon Rivera, Silverio Rivera and other family angels.
Born in Feb. 12, 1937 in Ruby, Ariz. and a lifelong Arizona resident, he was the fourth of nine children in his large family. There were a lot of Rivera families in and around Patagonia, Ariz. and the nearby mining towns and encampments where Manuel met and fell in love with a beautiful young lady from the stalwart ranching family of Miguel and Consuelo Rivera named Lupita. After they were married in 1956, they lived in Washington Camp, Ariz. for a short time where he managed a general store in that provided the necessities for miners working in several mines and living in the area. He made regular trips to and from Nogales to keep the store running. He was also the butcher and fix it man.
To provide better for his family, Manuel and his family moved to Tucson and he hired on with San Manuel, Magma where he worked underground from 1958 to 1963. Manuel received a general electronics technician’s diploma from Arizona College at Tucson in 1963 and Certification in Electronic Control from the Foxboro Instrument Company in 1970. He would go on to work for the Duval Corporation from 1964 to 1974 at both the Tucson Sahuarita Sierrita and Kingman Mineral Park Copper mining locations. In 1974 Manuel and family moved to Globe-Miami where he joined Cities Service Company Miami Operations at its start-up of operations of at Pinto Valley. Manuel was hired as the foreman of the Instrument Shop where he excelled at problem solving, mechanical, metering, and flow operations essential to plant and production operations, where he retired in 1999 from the Pinto Valley Mine.
After retirement, Manuel and his friend and partner Rudy formed Globe Instruments and where they provided consulting and technical services for a number of utilities and water treatment facilities around the state. Manuel retired for good in 2009 enjoyed time with his family in Globe and the Phoenix/Tucson areas before illnesses began to slow him down.
As a loving father and husband, Manuel introduced his family to the wonders of the outdoors for he loved to be in the mountains to camp, hunt, and collect rocks and gems. He knew every mountain range that drained into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the periodic chart of elements, and how to calculate anything that required a formula with a slide rule or by hand. He took the time to explain how things worked to everyone around him, why they didn’t, and how to fix them if they were broken. As he was explaining the details and diagramming them on paper, he would weave in a story about his personal experience and the characters that were involved in learning the concept.
Manuel was hands on with everything he did and his skills included math, science, chemistry, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, automotive. He could fashion just about anything with a good rope, wire, a few nails, and put to use whatever was within reach. He never left the house without his Barlow knife and his tool pouch. He was also a master of improvising whatever was needed to get out of a serious jam out in the field and there were many while he was out hunting with his boys.
Manuel introduced his family to the value of not just working hard, but being true to any effort you engage in. He absolutely loved Arizona, the United States of America and living the tenets of his Catholic faith all the time - not just on Sunday.
He enjoyed watching sports with his family and his favorite team was the 1948 World Champion Cleveland Indians. Some of the lessons he emphasized with his children were to treat all people with respect, help people in need, not to swear, to do your best, and that life’s virtues are found in honesty, love, prayer, and making things right between people when they aren’t. Manuel Rivera was true to everyone in his life and his good deeds for others were plentiful. We regularly hear stories from relatives, friends, and complete strangers how our dad once helped them and impacted their life in a positive way.
In his final months and weeks with us, Manuel bravely endured several debilitating health issues. Through it all and during the 63 years of his marriage, he loved no other than his high school sweetheart, Lupe. They prayed together nightly by holding hands and leaning their heads together. With his loving family surrounding him in his final moments, Manuel peacefully left us to be with his Lord – “Forever in our Hearts”.
Services for Manuel were Saturday, Feb. 15 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Miami, Ariz.
In lieu of flowers, you can donate to Manuel’s church Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Miami, Ariz. https://www.ourladymiami.com
Mass and Burial was on Monday, Feb. 17 at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church 222 Third Ave, Patagonia, AZ. 85624
Burial followed at the Patagonia Cemetery. The family was assisted by Bulman Miles Funeral Services. Guestbook can be signed at www.BulmanMiles.com