Antonio “Papa” Rivas passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 30th at the age of 83. He is preceded in death by his three elder siblings and wife of more than 33 years, Carmen. He is survived by his six children and their spouses; James (Mary), Rose (Chris), Irene (Eric), Patricia (Sam), Leticia (Steve), Theresa (Robert); 12 grandchildren, April, Jamie, Lisa, Eric, Karina, Tyler, Jesse, Meagan, Grace, Jeremiah, Madeline, Mateo, and three great-grandchildren; Jasmine, Elijah, and Sophia.
As a young man, Papa immigrated to the United States from his hometown of Rio Grande, Zacatecas, in Mexico, determined to better support his mother back home and seek a life of opportunity for his future family. Papa loved to tell stories of the old days when he played marbles, baseball, and began his love for a good game of pool. He could talk for hours about his journey from Texas to the Almaden Valley, back when the Silicon Valley was all orchards and ranch lands. It was in Almaden where he met the love of his life, Carmen Perez. Together they settled on Rancho Yerba Buena in San Jose, raised their family, and later retired after 36 years as the ranch foreman. Both Papa and Carmen served as faithful servants of Jehovah until their eventual passing. Papa remained a close part of the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, even throughout his long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Papa was one of the last of the “Vaqueros”, known well amongst the now shrinking community of Ranchers in San Jose. Papa could work a mean lasso, travel miles in the saddle herding cattle, and never went a day without his cowboy hat. Papa was never absent from a round-up, even after retirement. In addition to his 24/7 life as ar anch foreman, Papa studied electronics at night, earning a certificate and eventually running an electronics repair business. He became known as the “TV Doctor,” even making house calls as needed. Always as a top priority was his unconditional commitment and love for his family, his most endearing quality and lasting legacy.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 4, 2013, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses located at 10971 Dublin Canyon Road in Pleasanton, CA, 94588. A private interment service will be held at a later date.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, May 4, 2013