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R. Stephen Rivero

May 20, 1928 — July 3, 2007

R. Stephen Rivero

Robustiano Rivero was born on May 20, 1928 in St. Ignacio Misiones, Argentina to Martin Rivero and Gregoria Duarte. He would be the middle child of 14 children.  When Robustiano was 6, his dad took his family and fled to Paraguay from political shortcomings. Seven years later, once again politics forced the entire Rivero family to leave Paraguay for refuge in Misiones, Argentina.   At 18, Robustiano joined the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) missionaries to become Brother Stephen. His dream was to work in Papua New Guinea.  In 1949, at age 21, Brother Stephen received his mission assignment to Orrisa, India.  Brother Stephen spent the next 2 decades building churches, houses, hospitals, schools, and convents.   In 1969, he left India and returned home to Argentina.  After a short visit, Brother Stephen was ready to go to the United States.  Without hesitation, he left his family in Argentina and went to Los Angeles, California where he stayed with his sister, Irene.  While waiting for the visa, Brother Stephen was sent to Rome, Italy where he studied architecture.  In 1971, at age 43, Brother Stephen was finally granted his visa and his long time dream to move to the United States became a reality.  Before his move to Chicago, Illinois Stephen said goodbye to his family in Argentina.    While in Chicago, Brother Stephen decided to leave the SVD Order.  Only one year had passed when he met Mary Ellen Jackson of Steger, Illinois. Months later they were married, and began their family adventures.  On June 6, 1973 his first son, Stephen was born. Being the world traveler that he was, Mary Ellen, their one year old son Stephen Junior, and Stephen were sent to Papua New Guinea as Lay Mission Helpers. Once again, he was living another one of his dreams but this time he was sharing it with his family. The family resided in Papua New Guinea for five years and grew from 3 to 5 people within the time. In 1981, Stephen, Mary Ellen, Stephen Jr. (5), Carmen (3), and the remains of Daniel returned to the United States. In 1982, Stephen?s family was complete with the addition of Suzanna Marie. Over the next 25 years, it was his family and friends who discovered all of these adventures, of the 9 languages which he learned, and the jokes he told in English, German, Spanish, and Urdu?and sometimes mixed. Stephen was a humble, hilarious, soft, and loving man that we will always remember. ?There is not one memory in particular but a treasure chest full of them.  He is someone full of surprises and whenever we are together we always learn something new about him.  He has lived 100 lives and hopefully will live 100 more. We look forward to our next talk, our next walk and our next laugh together.? ?Carmen Rivero, 2006We love you, DAD! By Suzanna Marie Rivero    Robustiano Rivero nace el 20 de mayo de 1928 en San Ingnacio Misiones, Argentina.  Hijo de Martin Rivero y Gregoria Duarte, era el septimo de catorce.  A la edad de 6 anos por razones politicas emigran a Paraguay.  Siete anos despues y por el mismo motivo dejan Paraguay para refugiarse en Misiones Argentina.  A los dieciocho ingresa en la ?Society of the Divine Word (SVD)? misioneros para convertirse en el Hermano Stephen.  En 1949, con 21 anos, al Hermano Stephen le fue asignada su primera mision en Orissa, India donde pasa dos decadas constuyendo iglesias, casas, hospitals, escuelas y conventos.  En 1969 deja India para diregirse a los Estados Unidos.  En su camino a los Estados Unidos para en Argentina para visitar a su familia.  Luego se dirige a Los Angeles, Califonia donde se aloja con su hermana Irene por un tiempo.  En espera para su visado para los Estados Unidos  es convocado para ir a Roma, Italia donde estudia Architectura.  Finalmente en 1971, con la edad de 43 anos, el hermano Stephen consigue su  visado para los Estados Unidos, haciendo su sueno realidad y dice adios a su familia en Argentina para mudarse a Chicago, Illinois.  Una vez en Chicago el hermano Stephen decide dejar la orden SVD.  Solo pasa un ano cuando conoce a la mujer de su vida, Mary Ellen Jackson de Steger, Illinois.  Meses mas tarde se casan. El 6 de Julio, 1973 nace su primer hijo Stephen Jr.  Siguiendo su espiritu viajero y cumpliendo otra vez con su sueno llevaa su mujer y a su hijo de un ano a Papua Nueva Guniea donde trabajan como misioneros. Durante los 5 anos que viven alli, nace Carmen en 1975 y Daniel en 1978 que fallece a los dias de nacer.  En 1981 vuelven a los Estados Unidos al ano nace Suzanna Marie completando asi la famila.  Durante los siguientes 25 anos, nosotros su familia y amigos hemos tenido la suerte de conocer y disfrutrar de algunas de sus aventuras, y escuchar su chistes en los 9 idiomas que hablaba.    Stephen era un hombre humilde, divertido y carinoso.  Una persona adorable y ejemplar que nunca olvidaremos.   ?No hay un momento en particular sino un baul lleno de recuerdos.  El es un hombre lleno de sopresas y cuando estamos juntos siempre aprendo algo nuevo.  El ha vivido 100 vidas y espero que viva 100 mas.  Espero nuestra proxima conversacion, nuestro proximo paseo y risas.?                                                                                                 Carmen Rivero (2006)

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