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Antonia Rivera Hernandez


1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Antonia Rivera Hernandez Obituary
Antonia Rivera Hernandez, beloved wife of Leslie M. Hernandez passed away of a sudden illness on Jan. 21, 2018 in the presence of her devoted loved ones.
Antonia was born March 9, 1945 in Pocatello, Idaho, daughter to Miguel "Mike" Rivera and Aurelia Garcia Rivera. She attended Roosevelt Elementary, Alameda Jr. High School, and graduated from Pocatello High School, the class of 1963. 
A charming, natural beauty with a radiant smile, Antonia better known as "Toni," worked as a fashion model at Blocks department store in Pocatello as a young college student.
Being athletically gifted, she enrolled in Idaho State University to eventually earn an Associate's Degree in Physical Education, where she was a member of the ISU women's softball team, played tennis, loved swimming, and went on to become an outstanding bowler competing in various leagues while winning numerous trophies as evidence.
Toni also worked as a nurses' aid at St. Anthony's Hospital for a short time, before she became a telephone operator for Mountain Bell in Pocatello all while enrolled at ISU. It was while attending an ISU school gala that an unsuspecting Toni was fatefully approached and asked to dance by her life-partner to be, Leslie M. Hernandez.
At St. Anthony's Catholic Church, where Toni had been a faithful member all her life, she and Les Hernandez were married on Sept. 3, 1965.
Their ensuing wedding party, a family and community celebration held at the Terrece Hall in Old Town Pocatello, was attended by 400-plus revelers who frolicked and danced to a then famous Salt Lake City band sometimes affectionately referred to as the "Mexican Beatles."
Having resided happily for a short time in Pocatello, Toni and Les eventually relocated to a 20-acre farm in Fort Hall, Idaho, which undoubtedly they considered "home" for 40 years.
Born and raised a city girl, Toni amazed family with how gracefully and fully she embraced rugged farm life. In this spirited rural setting she and Les raised three equally irrepressible sons who were the shining stars and joy of her life.
Being dedicated wholeheartedly to the daily responsibilities of farm life, Toni worked alongside Les hauling hay, building corrals and irrigating fields while fastidiously maintaining a rich, bustling household of three lively boys and one hard-headed, but devoted husband.
A lover of classic film, a fine seamstress, a matriarch of discipline, Toni was an eclectic personality who possessed a zest for life and wasn't satisfied with half-measures or half-heartedness.
And though radiating genuine tenderness and compassion, when needed she could also be the stern arbiter of order and respect in the Hernandez household. But always lovingly attentive to each of her unique sons she committed herself to helping all three cultivate their own personal strengths, and pursue their own lights in life.
She beamed with unconditional pride as each of these sons later earned university degrees and continued on to higher learning and professional accomplishments.
After Les' retirement, and suddenly having ample time and renewed energy, Toni and he became livestock and horse trading enthusiasts who built a modestly successful operation in southeast Idaho from scratch.
After a few years when the horse trading business had run its course, Toni's domestic life was buoyantly renewed with the arrival of her grandchildren Nicholas and Madison, son and daughter of Nicole and Les Jr., whom she and Les Sr. unhesitatingly helped care for in their 60s.
Whereas others at this stage in life may have been reluctant at such an opportunity, for Toni having a chance to be so active a presence in the lives of her grandchildren afforded her a deep and abiding sense of gratitude and joy.
Toni floated on air when speaking of her beautiful grandkids and was unabashedly their biggest cheerleader attending every sporting event for Nick and every dance recital for Madi.
Neither rain, nor sleet nor ungodly hour to set out could keep her from attending these activities regardless of where they were held.  
As with her mother, Aurelia, Toni spent a lifetime carefully honing her skills in the kitchen and took enormous satisfaction and pride in preparing impromptu feasts for her family, friends and relatives.
Rarely did one leave the Hernandez residence without an additional few gladly received inches to the waistline. In addition to domestic affairs, Toni had an enthusiasm for family travel, joining her sons during trips to Maui, Disneyland, and Disneyworld, including a most memorable experience of venturing to Cape Canaveral to witness a thrilling shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center. 
Although not as intrepid as space flight, Toni would also find as much pleasure on open road adventures with her husband Les to Wyoming, Montana or wherever "making the loop" might lead that day. 
Though her absence will be profoundly felt, her memory will be preserved, and the love she gave all will endure in the lives of those she so deeply touched, and all too soon left behind.
Toni is survived by her husband Les and three children, Leslie T. Hernandez of Pocatello, Saul M. Hernandez of Lake Forest, California and Richard M. Hernandez of Portland, Oregon.
She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Nicole Hernandez and two grandchildren Nicholas and Madison Hernandez.
She will be profoundly missed by her brothers and sisters Alfred Rivera of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Teresa Camacho, Celia Longoria, Mike Rivera Jr., and Henry Rivera, all of Pocatello, Idaho and Christine Rivera of Boise, Idaho, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Toni was preceded in death by her parents Mike and Aurelia Rivera, her precious little sister Michelle Rivera, and her father and mother-in-law Manuel and Ethel Hernandez. Also preceding her death were several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Rosary and service will be held on Monday Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church with Father Roger LaChance officiating.
Friends who wish to make contributions in her memory may send them to the , or the two organizations very close to her heart.
Published in The Morning News on Jan. 30, 2018
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