Cover photo for Maria Rivera's Obituary
Maria Rivera Profile Photo
1930 Maria 2020

Maria Rivera

May 31, 1930 — December 10, 2020

“For her worth is far above rubies.”
Prov 31:10
Maria Magdalena Rivera, known as Goody by those she loved, 90, of Fontana, California passed away on December 10, 2020 in San Bernardino, California. She was born on May 31, 1930, to Eusebio Baerga and Leocadia Fonseca in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Growing up, she had 6 siblings: Eusebio Baerga, Martha Baerga, Gladys Borrero, Josephina Baerga, Zaida Baerga, and Carlos Baerga.
Maria met and married the love of her life, Tomas Rivera, and together they shared 25 wonderful years of marriage before his passing in 1985. Together, they had four beautiful children: Ruby Laponis (Mike), Jose Perez, Tom Rivera (Maryk), and Lillian Rivera.
Maria led a very fulfilling and accomplished life, graduating from the Colegio de Guayama. She excelled in track and field in high school, and was awarded a scholarship to U of Puero Rico, which she declined. Maria made her way to New York to help her mother and siblings financially, and would later work as a school crossing guard, which she would do for 33 years, 30 of which she spent at Redwood Elementary. From the Fontana Unified School District, Maria was awarded as Crossing Guard of the Year two times, and while also selling Avon, she was the Avon Area Sales Person of the Year.
Maria absolutely loved playing Bingo, known to always win big. She loved Bingo so much, she would play 3 times every week. She was an avid gardener, tending to at least 75 beautiful rose bushes. Maria was an accomplished seamstress, and would frequently be crocheting or knitting. Maria was a proud mother, and would love cheering for her children at their sporting events, always with her cow bell and horn. Unofficially, she was the neighbourhood bus driver, and would take children to their sporting and school events, and drive the adults to church events.
Maria was one of the earliest parishioners of Sacred Heart Church, and served as a member since 1966. At the church, she was the director of religious education for 14 years, and a member of the church choir. She was a team member in the Cursillo Retreat, and a member of the Lady of Fatima Blue Army. For many years, Maria would assist in caring for the church, helping in keeping the facility clean.
Maria is predeceased by her husband, Tomas Rivera, her parents Leocadia and Eusebio, her son Jose Perez, and her brother, Eusebio Baerga. She is survived by her three children: Ruby, Tom and Lillian, 5 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Maria would dedicate many years and hours in volunteering in any facet of her beloved church. She would make sure all of “her kids,” were safe when crossing the busy highway on their way to Redwood Elementary, even putting herself in harms way as she once saved a child from being struck by a car, whilst allowing herself to be hit. In her memory, her family requests donations to be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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Ingold Funeral & Cremation

8277 Juniper Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335

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