Frances Rivera died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s at her home on October 2, 2013, surrounded by her family. She was born May 11, 1930 to Felisiano and Maria Vera in St. Joseph, Missouri, where she was a lifelong resident.
Frances was a lifelong Catholic, and was a member of Saint Francis Xavier Church and a former member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. She was a member of the Altar Society; House of Bread, Mr. & Mrs. Club; Legion of Mary and volunteer for the funeral luncheons at St. Francis.
On October 4, 1951, she married Lollie Rivera at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. They celebrated 61 years of married life, serving as an inspiration to all. Their marriage produced six children: Toni (Joe) Hamera, Easton, MO; Cindy Kaelin; Tom Rivera; Gina Rivera; Jerry Rivera and Matt (Heather) Rivera, all of St. Joseph. They were also blessed with 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Frances was very proud of her Mexican heritage, and always looked forward each year to the Mexican fiesta, especially the music program. Frances loved to dance and any celebration with music had her dancing the evening away! She also placed great value on education, earning her GED after having to leave school before she graduated. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, family member and friend.
She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her sisters, Lucia Vega, Josephine Larrison and Lena Kilkenny; and her brothers, Matilde Vera; Emidio Vera and Victor Vera and son-in-law, David Kaelin.
Frances is survived by her husband and children, as well as her sisters, Trinidad Ackmann, Shawnee Mission, KS; Julia Yager, St. Joseph, and Dolores Canon, Topeka, KS; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her constant companion, Sasha, whom she called “my little girl”.
Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 7, 2013, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Inurnment in Mt. Olivet Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation will begin after 9:00 a.m. Sunday at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel. Rosary 6:00 p.m. Sunday at our Chapel. The family will receive friends following the Rosary until 8:00 p.m.
The family suggests memorials to Alzheimer’s Association or to the Open Door Food Kitchen.