Obituary of Roc'sanna T. Rivers
On December 15th, 1940, Roc'sanna Tresa was born in Schenectady, New York to the late Rocco & Mildred Martelli. And so, began a 78-year long story of a strong, fiercely stubborn, mischievous, humorous and all around marvelous woman. With heavy hearts, her family bid her farewell at St. Peter's hospital on Friday January 25th, 2019 after a brief illness. Raised in Schenectady, Roc'sanna graduated from Mont Pleasant High School. She married her beloved husband, Kenneth Rivers, on September 28th, 1959 after he dazzled her with his quick wit and charms on a date where he drove the woman, he had fallen so hard for around town and startled her with just how fast he liked to drive. Kenneth and Roc'sanna built their life together in the Rivers family home on Depot Road in Altamont. Together they raised four children, Roseanne (James) Palumbo, Kimberly Zupan, Alesia Warner and Kenneth (Nancy) Rivers. Rocs'anna worked for many years at the nursing home in Guilderland Center, formerly named "The Guilderland Center Nursing Home" and is now known as "The Grand". She was a certified nurse assistant and tended to the residents there with unparalleled compassion, concern and a sense of humor that heard laughter ringing throughout the three wings of the building anytime she was working from the residents and staff alike. Later in life, she assisted her husband Ken in the onsite beauty shop he ran at the nursing home. On any given day, the beauty shop was packed full of residents getting their hair coiffed, family members of those residents and staff who all enjoyed visiting Rocs'anna and Ken for their humorous escapades and Freihoffer cookies that Rocs'anna kept stashed in the shop. Roc'sanna hung family photos on the door of the beauty shop for everyone to admire. Roc'sanna was especially proud of her large family and welcomed each new addition with open arms. When her grandchildren were growing up, school photos were put up on the beauty shop door. When her great grandchildren arrived, it was hard to tell that a door even existed as it was completely plastered with new photos. Rocs'anna was a woman of great faith. Her and her husband were both members of the Helderberg Reformed Church for over thirty years. Roc'sanna lent her beautiful singing voice and love for music to the church every Sunday as she sang in the choir, her husband sat one pew in front of the choir - her most steadfast fan who would tell everyone who would listen that Rocs'anna had the most beautiful voice of anyone. Rocs'anna was a talented pianist and one of her most beloved treasures was an organ that her husband bought her. It was a treat for all to hear her play. When Ken passed away in 2011, Rocs'anna continued to organize the blood drive in his honor, that he had organized every year in May at the church. She worked tirelessly to uphold the legacy that her husband left behind working with the Red Cross to save countless lives and remained fiercely devoted to him and anything he had treasured in his time here on earth with her. Roc'sanna was a woman who savored and enjoyed the little things in life… floating in her swimming pool in the summer, her unique collection of flip-flops, large earrings that dangled to her shoulders, vibrantly colored clothes and most of all, her family and the time she spent with them, including her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known and loved her. Calling hours are on Thursday January 31st at Fredendall Funeral Home, 199 Main Street in Altamont from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. All are welcome to send their love to Rocs'anna as she makes her journey home to her husband. Burial on Friday in Prospect Hill Cemetery, beside her beloved Ken, will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations to Therapy Dogs International be considered in loving memory of Rocs'anna Rivers who adored animals and was especially fond of therapy dogs. Please send donations to: Therapy Dogs International 88 Bartley Road, Flanders NJ 07836 and reference Schenectady Chapter #74.