Margaret “Colleen” Rivera, 83, of Newton passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at Newton
Presbyterian Manor. She was born December 8, 1937, in Des Moines, Iowa, the youngest child of Emmett Scott and Jane (Dickson) Willis.
Colleen grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from East High School. She married Antonio “Tony” Rivera, Sr., on September 8, 1956, in Des Moines. In 1963, they moved to Kansas living in Wichita, Viola, and Conway Springs before settling in Newton in 1976. Colleen retired from Prairie View Hospital after 30 years of service. With her strong work ethic, and love for people, she continued working part-time at Alco and Kidron Bethel Village until the age of 79.
Her friendly and outgoing spirit brought joy to everyone. Colleen enjoyed playing bingo, and dancing,
especially with her husband. She loved to cook, and her family cherishes precious memories around her table. Colleen and Tony were founding members of Newton Christian Church, and she loved and enjoyed her women’s Bible study group. Her happiest times were spent with her family and friends.
She is survived by children Michael (Nancy) Rivera of Des Moines, IA; Antonio (Barb) Rivera, Jr., of
Cottonwood, MN; Roberta Batterman of Wichita, KS; Juana (Brandon) Henry of Newton, KS; Diana Ediger of Hillsboro, KS; Joseph (Kala) Rivera of Hesston, KS; Alita (Alex) Sanchez of Newton, KS; and Judith (Ken) Crump of Newton, KS, 21 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
Colleen’s husband, Tony, preceded her in death in October 2002. She is also preceded in death by her parents, Emmett and Jane Willis; brother, Harold Willis; sisters, Grace Berglund, Virginia Collins, Isabel Willis, Maryanne Palmer, Betty McCaughey, Minnie Archer, Velta Darling, Nellie Goode, and Faye Harmon. She was also preceded in death by son-in-law, Cliff Ediger, and grandson, Shane Batterman.
She is survived by her sisters, Louise Celentano of Enosburg Falls, VT; Lois Halterman of Casper, WY; Fern ~Leroy~ Schnathorst of Ankey, IA; and Jessie Belle Rivera of Des Moines, IA, and many nieces and nephews.
Colleen was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Her many family members and friends will miss her dearly.
A gathering and visitation following social distancing and mask protocols will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday December 21st at Petersen Funeral Home. A private family interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery Newton, Kansas. A celebrations of life for family friends will be announced at a later date.
All attending should follow proper social distancing protocol. If you are not feeling well, or if you have a compromised immune system, you are encouraged to stay home.
Memorial donations in memory of Colleen may be made to Newton Christian Church and Newton Presbyterian Manor % Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N Main St, Newton, KS 67114.