Edgardo Rivera-Padilla passed away on July 17, 2021 at the age of 69 at home in Henderson, NV surrounded by his beloved family, after a long battle with complications stemming from diabetes.
Edgardo had a beautiful and full life. He was born at Fort Kobbe Army base in the Panama Canal Zone to Puerto Rican parents, Monserrate Rivera-Rivera, a U.S. Army Sergeant First Class and Luz Marina Padilla, a seamstress that owned a popular retail store. He grew up in Oklahoma, Washington, New York, and Germany, and returned to Puerto Rico as a young man, where he attended La Salle School. He was a gifted self-taught musician who played the piano, guitar, timbales, and congas passionately. He performed with many bands throughout his life and had a deep love for Salsa music, Classic Rock, and Jazz. He loved Jimmy Hendrix, the Beatles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd in particular. He also loved to draw and write, and he loved animals, especially cats, dogs, and birds.
He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, where he met his wife, Evelyn Rivera (née Vega Ramos), who studied Nursing. After graduating college magna cum laude, they settled in Philadelphia briefly and then Virginia where they had 2 daughters, Roxana and Sharon Rivera. While in Virginia, he completed his Master’s degree in Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech and worked for the U.S. Navy designing radar and defense systems. He later settled in New York with his family where he worked for Unisys designing missile systems and weather radar technologies. He continued playing for several bands and eventually formed his own band, Korazon, with his wife where wrote and composed his own original music. He performed in venues and nightclubs all over New York City and at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. He was well-known in the Salsa community as “Ed the Piano Man”. He had an extensive collection of musical instruments (especially Fender electric guitars) and motorcycle vests.
He later moved back to Puerto Rico and was the project engineer for the Tren Urbano, the first rapid transit system in the Caribbean. He was also the project engineer for the restoration of the historic post office in Old San Juan and designed an aqueduct system to bring water to the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico. He was particularly proud of these achievements.
Edgardo was a gentle and kind soul; he was humble and incredibly generous, often giving to those in need. He was an amazing father who loved spending time and being generous with his family above all else. He loved road trips and took his family all over the East Coast. He loved American muscle cars, especially the Camaro and Corvette. He taught his daughter, Roxana, how to fix cars. And he shared his love of mathematics with his daughter, Sharon. His favorite movie was the Warriors and he spoke of this movie often in his final days. He also loved the ocean and spent many weekends at Orchard beach, Jones beach, and Coney Island. He was also a grandfather and great-grandfather. His grandkids and great-granddaughters were his pride and joy. He later settled in San Antonio, Texas and finally Henderson, Nevada.
He is survived by his 2 daughters, Roxana and Sharon Rivera; 4 grandchildren, Devin Recalde, Jadyn Rivera, Jonathan and Alessandra Castro; 2 great-grandchildren, Jazmine and Sofia Recalde; his 2 sisters, Miriam and Norma Rivera-Padilla; and his ex-wife, Evelyn Rivera, who was the love of his life and selflessly cared for him in his final years.
Edgardo is being cremated and his ashes will be spread at the beach in Puerto Rico. There is no formal service but we ask instead that you share any memories you have of him with us so we may remember him always in our hearts.
On my first visit to NY. He was my tour guide, went to the puertorrican barrio and around the city. From my bucket list ; there was no parking available and offer to wait in the car meanwhile I took a short visit to the Metropolitan Museum.
Also my Compadre and brother in law. Rest In Peace .
My deepest and sincere sympathy to Edgardo’s dear family and friends . He was definitely a gifted, accomplished and generous man.
I fondly remember his peculiar and infectious laugh.
May God rest his soul.
Rest In Peace, my dear brother. You are now reunited with Dad and Mom, and watching over us.
“ Those we love never go away. They walk beside us everyday unseen, unheard but always near.”
I will forever cherish our childhood years: playing with the snow; running and playing, while eating wild strawberries in the vast fields behind our home in Germany. Visiting the historical castles and chapel near Meinz, Baumholder and Stuttgart. The family trips to Mt. Reinier, picking strawberries at the farms in Washington and the picnics in Oklahoma. As our baby brother, my sister and I would often tease him, and his consolation was always running to Mami, and asking: “verdad, Mami, que yo soy el baby?” and the answer would always be: “Si, mi santo, tu eres el baby.”
Rest my beloved brother, be at peace. Let your soul fly free. One day I will join your magnificent flight into eternity.
Rest In Peace. Thank you for the beautiful memories and moments we shared together. I will always remember how happy you got when I asked you if you could play the wedding March at my wedding. Then you rescued the day when the band didn’t make in time to place at the reception hall. For all the nice time we had when I went to visit you guys in NY. You will be missed. A tight hug for the family.
Words cannot express how much I admire Edgar and what he meant in my life growing up! He treated me like a son he never had and would always drive me home in his red caddy! He would talk to me about the importance of education and he truly served as a role model as I didn’t have many positive Puerto Rican male influences in my life. As an adult thanks to social media he would always keep me humble by reminding me of social justice and the importance of community even when I didn’t want to hear it. Dear friend, I know you are throwing one hell of a salsa party in heaven! Until we see each other again I will always remember you. To his daughters and Evelyn – I love you and my condolences that you may find comfort in Edgar no longer having to suffer. He is at peace.
I love and miss you so much, daddy. You are always in my heart.