Raymond Rivera

Raymond C. "Papo" Rivera, 54, of Mesquite, closed his eyes to rest and entered eternal life on Jan. 15, 2014. His life took him on many journeys, which began in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The oldest of eight brothers and sisters. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981 as a field artillery specialist, where he achieved the rank of sergeant, earning many awards and recognitions. While stationed in Garlstedt, Germany, Raymond met his love Veva (Perez) and soon after married and began a family. Upon his release from active duty in 1989, the family moved to Mesquite, N.M., and continued to grow. Raymond then joined the New Mexico National Guard, where he served an additional 17 years. He had a deep-seated respect and love for the military and upheld those who serve or have served to the highest levels of respect. He had many friends and will be greatly missed. Raymond leaves behind his wife, Veva Rivera, of the family home; three daughters, Tanya Baker and husband, John, and their sons, Lane, Bryce, Elijah, Brody, Lucas and Gavin, all of El Paso, Texas; Yanira Rivera, and Kayla Rivera and her son, Ezrah, of Mesquite; a son, Raymond Rivera and fianceé, Heather Szczepanski and their daughter, Gabriella, of Las Cruces. Other survivors include his mother, Miriam Rivera of Luquillo, Puerto Rico; four brothers, Luis and wife Kathy, Efrain and wife, Isabel; Sandro and wife, Belkis, all of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Emilio and wife, Teisa, of Luquillo, Puerto Rico; a sister, Marisol Garcia and husband, Rey, of St. Croix. Extended family include the Perez and Villa families. "Papo" was preceded in death by his father, Luis Rivera, and two sisters, Maria and Mercedes Rivera. Visitation for Raymond will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in Baca's Chapel of Prayer, 300 E. Boutz Road, where the evening service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in the same chapel with the Rev. Manuel Holguin officiating. Concluding services and interment will follow in Missionary Ridge Cemetery with military honors accorded by the New Mexico National Guard Honor Guard and the Marine Corps League-El Perro Diablo Detachment. Serving as casket bearers will be Raymond Rivera, John Baker, Efrain, Sandro, Emilio and Luis Rivera. Service arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapel, Las Cruces. 527-2222. Your exclusive providers for "Veterans and Family Memorial Care." For online condolences logon to www.bacaschapelslascruces.com

Funeral Home

Baca's Funeral Chapels
300 East Boutz Las Cruces, NM 88004
575-527-2222

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 23, 2014