Cover photo for Irene Riva's Obituary
1938 Irene 2017

Irene Riva

March 2, 1938 — April 5, 2017

Irene Barreras La Riva, our beloved wife, mother, auntie and grandma left this earth for her forever place in heaven on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. She passed away peacefully at home that afternoon, in Tinnie, NM with her husband Roman at her side. Irene, or "Tiny" as she was known to many, was born in Wilmington, CA on March 2, 1938 to Eliodoro "Eddie or Lollo" and Carmen Martinez Barreras. She attended the local schools in Wilmington including Phineas Banning High School where she met her first husband, Juan Benavidez. She and Juan had one child Juan J. Benavidez Jr. whose unsolved homicide occurred in 1998. Prior to his death at the age of 44, Juan Jr. had four children, a son and three daughters. Her son's death caused Irene much grief and depression for several years but eventually our good Lord gave her some relief from that loss and she continued on in her upbeat, frank and open personality.

Tiny met her husband, Roman La Riva, in the summer of 1963 and they were married on September 23rd of that year. They bought a home a year later in Wilmington and she, Roman, and Juan Jr. lived there for three years when their daughter Laura was born in 1967. Irene was a Wilmington, CA girl from birth to the family's eventual move to New Mexico in 1998. She was a true city girl and the move to a rural mountain village in the boonies was quite a change.
And she made it quite clear to her husband that she didn't do any outside work, that was all his to do. Knowing Irene's temperament so well, Roman never asked for her help outside during their nineteen years of rural life.

During her adult life in California, Irene worked in Welchs childrens furniture factory in Torrance for several years then for Gulf Development sign company also in Torrance as a cracker jack customer service problem solver. Her job after that was really her cup-of-tea. She worked for a trucking company for about seven years as a field sales representative. She, along with one of her best friends Elva Torres who worked for a non-competing trucking company, became known to the local manufacturing and distributing companies as the "Dynamic Duo." Both of them beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful. After a brief hiatus from this job she returned to the sign company until her move to New Mexico in 1998.
Irene was preceded in death by her father and mother, Lolo and Carmen Barreras, her sister Dora Sandoval, a brother David Barreras, and her son Juan.
In addition to her husband husband Roman, son Juan (deceased), and daughter Laura, Irene's family includes a sister Esther Garibay in Wilmington, California, half brothers and sisters Nena, Eddie, Virgie, and Albert Barreras in California plus seven grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Irene's grandchildren are Tina and husband Abel Treviso in Texas, Juanito Benavidez and wife Candace in Arizona, Jessica Benavidez in California, Monica Benavidez in Texas, Anthony Valdes in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Victor Valdes in Bellevue, Washington, and Madison Valdes in Bellevue, Washington. The great and great-great grandchildren are in California, Texas, Washington, and New Mexico.

A Rosary and Memorial Mass for Irene will be held at 9:30 and 10:00 AM at St. Jude Roman Catholic Mission in San Patricio, New Mexico (mm 281 on Hwy 70) on Wednesday, April 12,2017. Interment for Irene will be in Wilmington, California with date and time of service yet to be determined.

To Those Whom I Love & Those Who Love Me
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess How much you've given me in happiness. I thank you for the love that you have shown, But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must, Then let your grief be comforted by trust. It is only for a while that we must part, So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on. And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near. And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear, All my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".


Prayer Service

St. Judes Catholic Church
Highway 70
San Patricio, NM  88348
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
9:30 AM

Funeral Mass

St. Judes Catholic Church
Highway 70
San Patricio, NM  88348
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
10:00 AM
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene Riva, please visit our flower store.


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