Joe was a resident of Merced County and Atwater for 74 years. He was born in Tulare, California to the parents of R. Joseph Rivero. II and Ester Webb Rivero. He went to be with the Lord on November 6, 2008 at the age of 75. Two of his most cherished moments as a youth growing up in Merced were being crowned King of Merced at the County Fair and playing on the State Championship Football team at Merced High School.
Joe served in the United States Army for 2 years during the Korean War, worked 34 years as an educator, 5 years as a dairy and sweet potato farmer, 7 years in the appliance industry in Atwater and 22 years as a cannery bin rental business owner. He worked at Davis Cannery for 15 years, and was the owner of the Atwater Family Fun Center for 18 years. He served 8 years as a Merced County Supervisor and the past two as an Atwater City Councilman.
Joe also served his community as an Atwater Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and Fall Festival Commissioner, a member of Atwater VFW post #9946, Parade director for the Atwater Fourth of July Committee for 10 years, was in charge of a volunteer program called Joe Rivero's Graffiti Busters, organized the Fourth of July Patriotic sing-a-thons for 8 years, coached Atwater little league baseball, served as the past president of the Atwater Castle Kiwanis and was awarded the Atwater Signal's “Atwater Citizen of the Year” distinction in 1984.
Joe and his wife Estelle were high school sweethearts and married on October 18, 1953. He was the beloved father of three sons and daughters-in-laws whom he lovingly called his daughters, Joe & Liz, Jeff & Cynthia, and John & Mona. His pride and joy were his seven grandchildren, Stephanie, Leticia, John, Trinity, Joseph, Jeffry, & Jacalyn. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Joe enjoyed spending time with family more than anything else on earth. When people joked at Joe for spoiling his grandchildren, he would always say they weren't spoiled but “deserving”. He was always at his son's, daughter-in-law's, and grandchildren's activities and sporting events.
Joe's life long ambition to help others in his community was demonstrated in many areas. He was a person you could reach out to for help and advice when experiencing the difficulties of every day life, or the horrible tragedies that sneak up on us by surprise. His energy and charisma touched so many people's lives. Everyone who ever met him could say they were greeted with a big hug, a handshake, a smile, and a positive word. He was a lighthouse from which his beacon guided people in distress or confusion to the path of positive thinking.
Joe was always encouraging people to pray for their needs and faithfully believed that God is a gracious and an all-knowing God. His ultimate goal was that all of us pray together as families, friends, and as a community. Joe was eternally grateful to our community for keeping his wonderful wife in their prayers. He believed that all of these prayers and thoughts helped get her the strength to battle her illness, giving the family more time to share their love.
His energy and charisma touched so many lives that often you left his presence believing you could complete anything. His love and caring spirit was shared with everyone, no matter your walk in life.
When asked how he was doing, you were sure to hear “Fantastic!” With the holidays fast approaching his familiar phrase of having a Holy, healthy, happy, safe and prosperous, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years will be missed.
Donations may be made to the R. Joe Rivero Memorial account #434026 Travis Credit Union Attention MSA Department PO Box 2069 Vacaville California 95696.