Daily Press (Sunday)

Pedro Nestor Rivera

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With great sadness we share that Pedro N. Rivera, MD, passed away peacefully on May 23, 2023 with his wife of 55 years, Syamy, and his children, Sya, Yolanda, and Ivonne, by his side. Born in 1949 in San German, Puerto Rico, Dr. Rivera was surrounded by a large and loving group of cousins, aunts, and uncles. He recalled helping in his parent's ice cream shop and the love he felt from extended family and an army of friends. He met Syamy as a teenager and they were together for a lifetime. Pedro completed his medical degree at the University Of Puerto Rico School Of Medicine in 1971. He joined the Air Force in 1974 and enjoyed his military career from which he retired in 1997.Pedro entered the Air Force in 1974 as a pediatrici­an. He served as a staff pediatrici­an at Barskdale AFB and at Malcolm Grow Medical Ctr at Andrews AFB. Shortly after, He was named Chief of Pediatrics and eventually Chairman of the department. In 1983, he became Chief of Hospital Services at MacDill AFB in Florida. This is where he told people he had attended James Bond driving school- and naturally, he demonstrat­ed his unmatched skills. After a promotion to Colonel, he was named Commander of the 56th Medical Group. In 1986, he was named Deputy Command Surgeon for Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB (where his daughters were Tabb Tigers). After, he was transferre­d to Bolling AFB as Deputy Director of Medical Plans and Resources at the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Rivera served as Command Surgeon at PACAF Headquarte­rs at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, where he and his wife could be found watching surf competitio­ns on the North Shore while enjoying a shaved ice. Later, he returned to Malcom Grow as Hospital Commander. In 1994, he earned the rank of Brigadier General and became Commander of the 81st Medical Group at Keesler AFB. At every assignment, the Riveras made lifelong friends and created warm memories that were often recounted.Pedro Rivera had an impeccable memory. He could recall the streets that he rode his bike on in Puerto Rico, all of his friends' and family members' names, and tell stories that had all of us laughing until we cried. He never forgot you and he was never ungrateful for "his people". You were genuinely cared for just as he cared for all of his patients, big and small (and he could remember their names, too).His sense of humor, loyalty to friends and family; his love of learning, music and people are just a few reasons why he is so deeply missed (in retirement, he taught himself the accordion and took up croquet to keep his mind sharp). He was a dedicated father, husband, grandfathe­r and physician who was able to touch many lives.He was preceded in death by his parents, Pedro and Eustolia, and his cousin Rafi, who departed this earth on the same date in 2019. His wife, daughters, their husbands (Chris, Bill, & Michael), and his 9 grandchild­ren mourn his departure, but find joy in a life well lived. They will miss shooting flaming arrows in the backyard. Thank you to Pedro and Syamy's neighbors for the friendship and care. Thanks to Dr. Maung and his nursing staff (so many to thank here!) because even though the news was bad, he loved seeing you- you lifted his spirits. Thank you Lisa and Ashley- his hospice nurse and aide, for the loving kindness they showed him during his most trying days. He didn't let you go without a hug. We hope to celebrate his life at a later date. In honor of our father/husband, maybe you will consider a donation to a favorite, local charity. If you choose to do so or would like to share a memory, please let us know on his Facebook memorial page.

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