Santiago “Sandy” Rivera, of Orlando, Florida, passed away at age 85 on Friday, July 23, 2021. He was born in Comerio, Puerto Rico on May 31, 1936, to Crispulo Rivera and Carmen Oyola. He was one of twelve and had 1 brother and 10 sisters.
At the age of 9 he became an orphan and was raised by his Godmother.
After graduating from High School at the Colegio Ponceño de Varones he went on to study Business in Puerto Rico.
Sandy married Nilda Oliveras, the love of his life, on April 25, 1959 and moved to New York to pursue his own business selling shoes. He was a loving father to 5 children, Lissette, Annette, Jose, Jannette and Sandy.
Sandy had an exceptional work ethic and always thought it was important for his children to work hard. As a child he even helped make ends meet by selling bubble gum. He was great at doing math off the top of his head and a proficient businessman. Throughout his life he was always proud of his family and having succeeded in business
despite humble beginnings.
If you knew Sandy, you knew he was a baseball fan. He even wanted to have enough children to have his own team! His favorite player was Roberto Clemente and he was a Mets fan.
Sandy liked a good party and loved to dance. He loved bananas! He was very personable and would strike a conversation with anyone. Sandy had the gift of gab and could write a poem like no one else could. You would often get a card from him for the holidays with hand-written verses that touched the heart! He loved to sing and his favorite singer was Felipe “La Voz” Rodriguez. He loved life.
Sandy was a devout Christian. For his Golden wedding anniversary he traveled with Nilda to Israel in a trip sponsored by the Good Shepherd Church.
Sandy is survived by his wife, 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Towards the end, Sandy had a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.
“As you are finally free from this cruel disease.
We pledge to remember the man that you once were;
A good hearted, giving man is all that will be heard.
And every night when we look up and see a certain star...
We will know within our hearts exactly where you are.
So on this day we say good-bye as you now depart.
Although far from our touch, never far from our hearts.” - Ellen Miller
In memory of Sandy, the family request that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Florida Chapter.
There will be a viewing on Wednesday, July 28th at 12 Noon, followed by a funeral service at 1pm and the interment at Glen Haven Memorial Park at 2:45pm. The family will gather in private to celebrate Sandy’s life after the burial and request privacy during this difficult time.
If you would like to view the service, please reach out to Sandy Rivera, son of Santiago for the information on how to view the live stream of the funeral service.