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Waterbury - Fernando Irizarry Rivera, 81, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, March 15. Known as “El Maestro” by many, he was born in Penuelas, PR on May 31, 1941 to the late Filomeno Irizarry and Epifania Rivera. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend.
He was a hard worker, veteran of the US Army, and a generous person. He retired from Torrington Supply (Torr Co) at age 75 after nearly 30 years of service. He enjoyed playing guitar for his family, as well as gardening, often sharing his harvest with friends and neighbors. He left a positive impression on everyone he met, and will be missed dearly, by many
He is survived by his wife of 60 years Lidia Irizarry, son Fernando Irizarry and his wife Elise, daughter Esther Arce and her husband Geraldo, Denise Irizarry and her Fiance Steve Chaivanik, and Elsie Irizarry. He also leaves behind his grandchildren Delsie Angelicola, Theresa Angelicola and fiancé AJ, Elizabeth Angelicola and Fiance Tyler, Richard Arce and his girlfriend Brenda, and Ivette Arce and partner Ryan, as well as his great grandchild Lucas, all of Waterbury. He also leaves behind his very close cousins, Jossie Rivera, Ismael and Israel Segarra. He is predeceased by his sister Gladys Irizarry, and leaves behind several siblings residing in Puerto Rico.
He and his family want to thank everyone at the Trinity Health Group, Autumn Lake Bucks Hill, Davita, and Vitas Healthcare. Special thank you to Dr. Albajrami, Dr. D'Souza, and Dr. Kumar of St. Mary's, who helped him through his transitions of care.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, March 19, from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. at the Bergin Funeral Home 290 East Main St. A musical tribute to El Maestro will begin at 4:00 P.M. Services will end following Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the American Lung Association, to continue to help fund research and treatment for those affected by lung diseases.