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Carmela Foderaro deRivas

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Carmela Foderaro deRivas Obituary
Carmela Foderaro deRivas, a renowned psychiatrist and health facility administrator, died of natural causes in her Dunwoody Village home the evening of Oct. 6, 2016, at 95 years of age. Born on Nov. 25, 1920, in Cortale, Italy, Carmela leaves this world with an enduring legacy in the profession of psychiatric medicine as well as in the hearts of all who knew her. After immigrating to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1935, Carmela quickly took command of the English language and scaled to the top of her high school class. She earned a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and completed her medical degree at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania shortly thereafter. A woman truly ahead of her time, Carmela was one of the few women to become a medical doctor in the 1940s. Carmela’s achievements only bloomed from there. She completed her medical internship at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Specializing in the evolving field of psychiatric medicine, she joined the staff of Norristown State Hospital for her residency in 1949 and worked her way up the ranks until being appointed the hospital’s first female superintendent in 1964. She treated more than 4,000 patients, managed more than 1,500 employees and oversaw the hospital’s extensive campus during her time there. Carmela’s personal life was one of passion and giving. She married her husband, Aureliano Rivas, M.D., who became the first Puerto Rican-born Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Reserve, while also pursuing a medical career as a urologist. Together, they raised a family of four beautiful children and had a direct hand in raising their three grandchildren. The couple often traveled the world and shared a passion for classical music — their three daughters, Carmen, Norma and Sandra, are named after opera heroines. Carmela was also exceptionally close to her only nephew, John Foderaro, and his family. Carmela’s family remembers her as an extremely intelligent, generous and hard worker. She was a gifted flower gardener and had an affinity for eggplant parmesan and figs. Her husband meant the world to her, and today we celebrate the fact that they are together again. She is proudly survived by children Carmen Rivas, Norma Rivas, Sandra Rivas-Hall and David Rivas, M.D., and grandchildren Blake Rivas, Alena Hall and Alex Hall. She is also lovingly remembered by extended family members, friends worldwide, and those who had the pleasure of working alongside her. Memorial services are open to the public and will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at St. Anastasia Catholic Church at 3301 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, 19073. The viewing will take place at 10 a.m. EST, followed by mass at 11 a.m. EST. Carmela’s family insists that all donations be made to Providence Animal Shelter, a no-kill animal shelter, in lieu of flowers and gifts. The shelter’s mailing address is 555 Sandy Bank Road, Media, Pennsylvania, 19063. Arrangements by Frank C. Videon Funeral Home.
Published in The Times Herald on Oct. 12, 2016
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