Abel M. Rivera

Abel M. Rivera was born on July 12, 1950 in Caro, Michigan, and passed away on March 31, 2023 in Kenedy, Texas, at the age of 72.

He is survived by his daughters Betty Jo Blietz (Gerad), Bobbie Jo Rivera (Robin Thienpont), Jennifer Rivera (Zeke Lopez)and Melanie Monroe (Jesse).

Grandkids, Kamiryn Blietz, Jackson Blietz, Phoenix Lopez, Daryn Thienpont, Maddoux Lopez, David Cardenas, Dylan Cardenas and Jordan Monroe. Sisters, Sandra Rivera and Leticia Lerma, brothers, Rudy Rivera, Timothy Rivera, Joe Rivera, Daniel Rivera and Gilbert Rivera and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lucy Maciel Rivera and Rudy Rivera, brother Ricardo Rivera and niece Gabriela Lerma.

Abel was the oldest of nine children. The son of migrant workers, he was born in Michigan, where his parents worked in the strawberry fields. He would work those same fields growing up, going back and forth between Michigan and Texas. Abel attended school in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Edgewood High School, he was drafted and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War; earning the National Defense Medal and Sharp Shooter (Rifle) distinctions.

In 1970, he married Mary Lou Sanchez. Together they had 4 daughters.

Abel, like many veterans, battled his demons, but in good times, he enjoyed hanging out with his friends, playing tennis, rock-n-roll, cook outs and of course, dogs. Mostly self-employed, his work varied in the service industry from auto towing to carpentry.  Later in life, he only needed the daily newspaper and a taco. If he wasn’t cheering on the Dallas Cowboys or the San Antonio Spurs, he usually rooted for the underdog. The family would like to thank the staff at Kenedy Health and Rehabilitation for all their care and support these last four years.

Graveside Services will be held at Fort Sam Houston with Military Honors on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 1:30 P.M. in San Antonio, TX.

2 Memory Tributes for “Abel M. Rivera”

  • Betty Jo Blietz

    I was always sending donuts or tacos for the staff at your Day Center. One day you asked me if I would get a case of soda for the staff. Of course I did. A few days later you needed me to break a 5 dollar bill cause you owed someone change. Turns out you had a side hustle selling the drinks to the other clients for cash. You guys weren’t supposed to have cash on you or soda, but there you were doing it anyway. You never ceased to surprise me.
    You were my human GPS- always knew which way to turn or when I called you could tell me how to get from one place to another with no problem, even if you hadn’t been there in years. I don’t know how you did it, but you did.
    What will stay with me is your simplicity, you never needed much, which worked out great cause you never have much. And well I guess I inherited your love for dogs.
    You passed your most difficult test in life with me, but what that was will be our secret bond. You know that’s what I’m most proud of.
    Certain songs will always remind me of you, like Against the Wind, and anything by Fleetwood Mac, Carlos Santana, or The Police. I love you.
    Bye Dad.
    La Cuata,
    You know which one😉

    Author's City: San Antonio Texas
  • Juan & Dolores Auces

    To the Rivera Family,

    My wife Dolores and I extend our condolences to all of Mr. Rivera’s family members. Although we did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rivera we know his legacy will be fondly remembered by all of whom he shared his life with.

    Rest in peace Mr. Rivera

    Juan & Dolores Auces
    20003 Brandon Oaks Way Katy, TX

    Author's City: Katy