Pantaleon Ernesto Rivera, (Ernie) was born July 27, 1930 to Federico and Mariana Rivera in Dawson, New Mexico, USA. He graduated high school in Dawson and later worked in the coal mines before joining the army
, where he served during the Korean Conflict
. After returning to New Mexico in 1953 he married Irene Warder Sales from Raton, New Mexico. He then enrolled at Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1956. He attended the University of Colorado in Greeley for post-graduate work towards his Masters degree in '57-58. In 1968 he received his Life General Secondary Diploma from Sacramento State University in California. Ernie earned a Life Certificate to teach Special Education from Sacramento in 1969 and a Master of Science and Pupil Personnel Certificate. He held certificates in other areas; Counseling and Bilingual Education.
Between 1964 and 1977 he taught; English as a Second Language for Lodi Unified; conducted workshops and was Training Co-coordinator of Migrant Education for Central California Tri-county; Adult classes for Lodi Unified; Supervisory position for Tri-county Regional Project which required monitoring of teachers
and industrial aides as well as involving curriculum planning and material development.; taught evening classes at Delta Junior College for the Department of Motor Vehicles, State and Local police.
Mr. Rivera was employed by the State of California as a teacher/counselor for Youth Authority for about 20 years beginning work at Ione, Ca., and ending at Stockton, CA. .He retired in 1986 from the State employment and taught school for Lodi Unified and Stockton Unified school districts.
Ernie was involved in various community volunteer programs such as; Senior Peer Counseling in Lodi, Family Counseling for Lodi Community Center; San Joaquin County Ombudsman for 10 years; and various other endeavors involving education.
Ernie belonged to Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, and was a member of Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars
. At one time he was a member of the San Joaquin Mental Health Board.
Rivera enjoyed sports, especially racquetball, hunting, fishing and traveling. He loved his dog, Rinty.
Predeceased by son Ernest M. Rivera.
Surviving members of family are his wife, Irene J. Rivera, three sons; Frank J. Sales, John C. Sales and Robert Rivera, two daughters, Marianne M. Rivera and Jeanette Agresta (Robert), Granddaughter Robin N. Rivera Hernandez. Other grandchildren; Frank H. Sales, James Sales and Adam Sales, Marie Agresta, Michael Agresta, Ryan Kahler and Julie King, seven great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren
Three surviving sisters: Ramona Spicer, Marlene Miller, and Anna Foland and five surviving brothers; Albert, Marcel, Fred, Gregory and Anthony, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by both parents, two sisters; Beatrice Roque and Valerie Sheehan and one brother Ralph Rivera.
A vigil service will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm at Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home 831 E. Industrial Way Lodi. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 10:00 am at St. Anne's Catholic Church, Lodi. Inurnment will be private at Cherokee Memorial Park.
Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home is honored to serve the Rivera family
Please sign the guestbook at www.cherokeememorial.com