Romaldo Rivera, 82, died Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City. He was born Feb. 7, 1937, in Colotlan, Jalisco, Mexico, to Victor and Elena (Ruvalcaba) Rivera.
Romaldo moved with his family to Juarez, Mexico, when he was a child. On June 6, 1959, he married Amalia Zapata in Juarez, Mexico. In 1974, they moved to Garden City. Romaldo proudly became a citizen of the United States in 1993.
While living in Mexico, Romaldo was a professional wrestler and wrestled under the names of “El Rayo” and “Tony Rivera.” After moving to Garden City, he worked at Farmland and IBP.
Romaldo was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Garden City and was very active in church activities. He helped with funeral dinners, marriage preparation and served as a Eucharistic Minister. He was also a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Lincoln, where he helped clean the church. Romaldo was also a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed cooking, dancing and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Amalia Rivera of the home; eight children, Leticia Rivera and partner Jose Ramirez of McMinnville, Ore., Jorge Rivera and wife Celia of Salina, Laura Ortiz and husband Samuel of Garden City, Geronimo Rivera and wife Rene’e of Wichita, Jose “Art” Rivera and wife Ericka of Harker Heights, Texas, Hector Rivera of Garden City, Veronica Rojas and husband Jose of Lincoln, and Enrique “Rick” Rivera and wife Jami of Augusta; 26 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Romaldo was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Pedro Rivera, Jose Rivera and Luis Rivera; and two sisters, Juanita Rivera and Fransisca “Panchita” Rivera.
A vigil service and rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Garden City. Funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday also at St. Mary Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City. Friends may call from noon to 8 p.m. on Monday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, all at Garnand Funeral Home in Garden City.
The family suggests memorials given to the Romaldo Rivera Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City. Condolences may be given at garnandfuneralhomes.com.