Maria Antonia Rivera October 11, 1927 – January 2, 2024
Our family is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our mother Maria Antonia Rivera who left us on January 2, 2024 at her home in Albuquerque, NM with family by her side. Antonia was born October 11, 1927 in Villanueva, New Mexico. She touched the lives of many in her long life with her unconditional love, mighty strength, and unique sense of humor.
Antonia lived a full and diverse life influencing the lives of those around her in many ways. Life began for Antonia along the beautiful Pecos River in Villanueva, NM, and she spent many summers downstream in Puerto de Luna, NM with her maternal family. Antonia rode in a horse-drawn wagon when her family moved from the remote village of Milagro, NM to Galisteo, NM before residing in Santa Fe, NM for several years. Her family eventually settled in Clovis, NM, and Antonia moved to Albuquerque in her early twenties where she met and married the young U.S Army soldier Antonio Rivera. She was a military housewife for twenty years dutifully supporting Antonio while they traveled the world with six children in tow followed by a fifth daughter born after military service. Her deep and vivid memory of the Padilla and Baca families’ histories was shared with her extended family, friends, caregivers, and anyone who asked until the last days of her life.
Antonia was preceded in death by: husband; Antonio Rivera, parents; Anastacio and Margarita Padilla Baca, siblings; Roberto Daniel Baca, Jesus Baca and Rita Gonzalez. Antonia is survived by seven children: Evelyn Rivera, Laura Greenleaf (John), Carmen Rivera (Jurgen), Edward Rivera, Janet Rivera Mednik (Buddy), Richard Rivera (Nancy), and Anne Marie Smith, grandchildren; Charles Chapin, Jennifer Greenleaf (Rick), Michael Greenleaf (Linda), Danielle Hall (John), Eric Greenleaf, Alexander Ward, Lauren Smith, Adam Smith, Jeremy Mednik and Avery Rivera, great-grandchildren; Isabela Harrison, Conner Hall, Harper Hall, Paisley Tietgens, Petra Greenleaf and Palmer Greenleaf, brothers; Jimmy Baca of Albuquerque, NM, Raymond Baca of Clovis, NM, Albert (Donna) Baca of Georgia, sister; Angie (Carl) Schmidt of Cheyenne, WY, and many nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be prayed at 8:00 am Thursday March 7, 2024 at Our Lady of Annunciation in Albuquerque, NM followed by a funeral mass. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am Friday, March 8, 2024 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to attend and pay their respects.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to one of Antonia’s favorite charities including Share Your Care Inc., St. Jude Children's Hospital and Disabled American Veterans.
The family of Antonia Maria Rivera is forever grateful for the broad and solid support that enabled her to enjoy the last chapter in her ninety-six years after Antonio passed in 2009. Her kind neighbors, the wonderful staff at Share Your Care, her many medical providers, and her devoted family and friends all contributed to an extraordinary quality of life ending with
compassionate hospice care provided by La Luz Hospice and Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque.
Antonia Rivera is at peace, and her memory will forever live within the hearts of those who knew and loved her.