Carmelo Rivera’s family thanks community for outpouring of support
BROCKPORT – About 500 people attended calling hours and a funeral service for Carmela Rivera on Wednesday, with many people driving out of state to express their sympathy to Rivera’s family.
That support, including a Sunday night vigil on the football field, has comforted the family while they grieve the loss of a beloved son, brother and uncle, said Carmelo’s mother Rosa Rivera.
“I have no words to express our gratitude for the love everyone has showed to his family and friends,” she said this afternoon.
Carmelo, 22, was a team captain and all-star on the Holley football team when he played varsity about five years ago. He was working three jobs to help pay for his college education. He was an exercise science major at Brockport State College.
He was on his way home to Holley after working a late shift at a restaurant in Le Roy when he struck a pea harvester on Route 19 in Bergen. He was killed on Sunday morning at about 2:30 a.m.
“He was very loving and very charismatic,” his mother said. “He had a lot of laughter in him.”
Carmelo’s service was held at the Fowler Funeral Home in Brockport. He is survived by his mother and father Carmelo (Veronica Rangel) Rivera, and seven siblings: Isrrael Obregon, Ivane Obregon, Maria Rivera, Leonardo Rivera, Cassandra Rivera, Cuauhtemoc Paz and Xochitl Paz.
Carmelo always worked hard in the classroom, at work and in athletics, his mother said.
“He was always humble and noble,” she said. “He knew he would have to work extra hard to accomplish his goals. We’re very proud of him and honored he was our son.”
Carmelo was a highly respected member of the Holley football teams that turned around winless seasons and won 8 games, turning into a Genesee Region powerhouse.
He played linebacker and offensive line for the Holley Hawks. After he graduated from Holley, he returned to volunteer as a coach for Holley’s youth football teams.
“We lost the type of young man we need in today’s society,” said Rivera’s coach Chad DeRock. “He was selfless and charismatic. He was a very good player who paved his way with hard work and sweat.”