Ernest "Jerry" John Rivera
This online memorial was created in loving memory of Jerry Rivera, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website.
Jerry was a man of many talents. He could make you smile with the raising of an eyebrow and was always willing to listen to anything the kids had to say.
Jerry was a beloved father, friend, brother, son and husband. He loved his family very much... his mother Juanita Griffin, his sisters Rachael Hectus, Sonya Dunn, Sara Landers, and his brother Travis Palmer. However, Jerry lived for his daughters, Aryana Rose Vicencio, Jessica Costas and Katie Rivera. He was married to the love of his life, Melisa Rivera; I know because I had the honor of joining them in marriage. Still, he stayed close to the mother of his other daughter, Roanna Costas, in order to give his children the best of both parents. He was years ahead of his time in his approach to relationships. His deepest losses were the suicide of his father in 1979 and the murder of his infant son, Charlie, in 1999.
Jerry loved his friends as if they were blood and was a stand up friend, a guy's guy. If he had beer in the fridge, friends were always welcome to pop one open and hang out while he composed original music on his bass. He loved to swap stories and lighten the mood with various quirky and, sometimes obnoxious, accents and impersonations! He loved those he worked with like brothers and took great pride in his profession as a Railroad Switchman. He could talk for hours about trains and everything related to them. His boss, brother-in-law and best friend, Matt Landers got him that job... that he loved so much and marked a turning point in his life. He was grateful for it - he told me that when we joked about making it a family business and my joining the "team" as an Engineer!
Jerry wasn't about regret, although he carried a lot of weight on his shoulders from various wrongs inflicted against him in his life. Some of that weight was pain, some anger... because of this, he was quick to bring a smile to the faces of anyone who came in his sights. His life had taught him about hurt and he always tried to chase away any demons and let his presence bring light and laughter. Especially the kids... he was adored by his nieces and nephews. He would get down on their level and play... patient whenever they were experiencing difficulties or in the throes of a tantrum. His life shaped him to be gentle with the innocents and quick to protect them.
His death leaves behind a hole in the lives of all that knew and loved him. That he was taken through the carelessness of another human being amplifies the pain... that it could have been avoided and not happened at all. But we can take comfort from his legacy and know that no matter where we are or where we go, his spirit will remain alive and well in our hearts.
Please sign Jerry's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Jerry forever.