Cover photo for Barbara Rivas's Obituary
Barbara Rivas Profile Photo
1935 Barbara 2016

Barbara Rivas

June 2, 1935 — November 10, 2016

Barbara Ann Rivas, 81, of Norwich, passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford, NY.

Born June 2, 1935, in Jersey City, NJ, Barbara was the daughter of Elizabeth Lynn Novak and George Schaefer Sr. She spent her childhood in Jersey City, then Columbus, NY, and graduated from New Berlin High School in 1953.

After graduating, Barbara enlisted in the United State Navy, and served the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman during the Korean War. On May 21, 1955, in Newark, NJ, she married U.S. Navy Corpsman Joaquin F. Rivas. After being stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they returned to New Jersey to raise their family. Joaquin passed away suddenly in 1963. Barbara continued to raise her young daughters in Iselin, NJ, before relocating to New Berlin in 1973, then later to Norwich.

Barbara resumed her education in nursing, and graduated from the SUNY Oneonta school of nursing in 1977. She served as a nurse at Chase Memorial Nursing Home, in New Berlin, and then the NYS Veterans Home, in Oxford. She retired in 1991.

Barbara enjoyed raising dogs, cats, and birds, and travelling to cat shows. She also had a lifelong fascination with giraffes. Barbara was a member of the American Legion Posts in Oxford and Norwich, as well as the Lady Veterans Society and Red Hat Society while residing at the NYS Veterans Home.

Barbara is survived by daughters Dona (Larry) Olsen, of Oxford, Lynn (Mark) Parker, of Norwich, and Teresa Rivas, of Middleburgh, NY; grandchildren Mark (Sarah) Parker Jr, of Boston, MA, Andrea (Todd) Raethka, of Rochester, NY, Laura (Noah Bateman) Parker, of Norwich, Adam (Irina Shutovsky) Parker, of Jersey City, NJ, Peter (Nikki) Salzano, of Manchester, MI, Andrew (Talia) Salzano, of Boise, ID, Corey Olsen, of Delhi, NY, and Trevor (Corey Pickett) Everts, of Albany, NY. She is also survived by great-grandchildren Morgan, Kirsten, Anthony, Lucas, Benjamin, Jeremiah Salzano, Alyvia Salzano, William, Lillian, Edward Raethka, Jacob, Natalie, and Colette Parker. Her brothers, Joseph (Marci) Novak, of Barrington, NH, William (Jayne) Novak, of Manlius, NY, and George Schaefer Jr., of Houston, TX, and several nieces and nephews also survive. In addition to her parents and husband, Barbara was predeceased by brothers David Novak and Paul Schaefer.

A memorial service for Barbara will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at the Wilson Funeral Home, where the Rev. Nancy Hale will officiate. Burial will immediately follow at Fairview Cemetery in New Berlin where full military honors will be presented. Friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.

The family wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the staff of the NYS Veterans Home in Oxford for the wonderful care and companionship they offered Barbara, and their support during this difficult time.

Contributions in Barbara’s memory may be made to the New York State Veterans Home, c/o Heeyoun Cho, Director of Activities, 4207 State Highway 220, Oxford, NY 13830.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Rivas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 17, 2016

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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