Elminda Rivera

January 26, 1928 ~ June 5, 2019 (age 91)


Elminda (Padilla) Rivera, 91, of Bethlehem, passed away peacefully on Thursday June 6, 2019 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was the loving wife of the late Vidal Rivera. Elminda was born on January 26, 1928 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and moved to New York in 1942 at the age of 14. She worked as a seamstress at the Bethlehem Togs. Elminda "Dona Nina" as all knew her, worked as a cleaning lady and switchboard operator for Lehigh University and in 1970 brought the union to the University. With very minimal formal education , Elminda still managed to learn seven different languages , students from the university helped her to learn. Over the years Dona Nina ran several consignment shops and restaurauts. She was a member of Holy Infancy Catholic Church, Bethlehem. Elminda loved cooking, sewing, selling Avon and taking care of her family and people in the community. She welcomed all of the neighborhood children into her home, they all called her "mom". Elminda would feed them and even discipline them as if they were her own. Everybody had chores even the "adopted kids" There was no free ride in the Rivera House. Elminda was always a hard worker and great mother!
Survivors: She will be lovingly remembered by her 7 Boys and 4 Girls; Vidal "Junior" Rivera and his fiancé Claribel, Jorge Surita, Hector Surita, Jay Velez, Norma Padilla, Dennis Matos, Victor Matos, Lourdes Matos, Edwin Rivera and Estrellita Rivera and many loving grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter Diana Matos and a granddaughter. We will miss our mother dearly, but she is in company with her daughter and granddaughter, and god has welcomed her with open arms.
Services: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Holy Infancy Catholic Church, 312 E. 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Calling Hours will be held on Monday evening from 6 to 8 P.M. at the Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, 500 Linden Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018 and also on Tuesday morning from 9 A.M. until time of the Mass at the church. Burial will follow at Holy Saviour Cemetery. A memory tribute may be placed at
In lieu of flowers, mass intentions Elminda Rivera may be made to Holy Infancy Church, 312 E. 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015.

Calling Hour

JUN 10. 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)

Cantelmi Long Funeral Home
500 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA, 18018

Calling Hour

JUN 11. 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (EDT)

Holy Infancy Catholic Church
4th and Taylor Streets
Bethlehem, PA, 18015

Mass of Christian Burial

JUN 11. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (EDT)

Holy Infancy Catholic Church
4th and Taylor Streets
Bethlehem, PA, 18015

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