On Feb. 9, 2018, Luis Moreno Rivera, 72, of Billings, was reunited with his wife, following a brief illness. He passed away surrounded by his children. Luis was born on Sept. 19, 1945, in Guanajuato, Mexico. As a young man, his family worked in the United States as migrant workers. He became a legal resident in 1952, at the age of 7. He attended elementary school in Billings, before moving to Ashland, where he graduated from St. Labre High School. Later in life, Luis went to college and received his bachelor’s degree in human services from MSUB in 2001 at the age of 56.
As a young man, he and his brothers moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and worked in the steel mills. He married Lola “Nini” Federico and they had two children, Angelo and Maria. They later divorced. While living in Cleveland, he met Sandra Matthews and had three children, Luis, Sandra and Adrian. The family moved to Billings, and Sandra passed away in 1994.
Luis worked various jobs in Billings, mostly doing physical labor before he went to college. He worked for the Migrant Council, Rimrock Foundation and volunteered helping the homeless, providing support to people on the streets of Billings. His career as a counselor for those suffering with addiction was his calling. He helped numerous people in the community overcome their struggles with drugs and alcohol, and he truly loved assisting folks at their most vulnerable times in life. Luis loved to fish. He would throw a line out anywhere the water was running. He shared this pastime with his children, who have fond memories of fishing with their dad. He had a true gift for gardening. He maintained his yard and garden, as well as neighbors and friends gardens. He enjoyed sharing his bounty with anyone willing to take it. Never one to be idle, following his retirement, Luis worked at Sam’s Club, just to pass the time. He will be missed by many.
He is survived by his children, Angelo (Tabitha) Rivera, Maria Rivera, Lisa Rivera, Luis (Jen) Matthews, Sandra (Elias Adame) Rivera and Adrian Rivera, and special daughters Jeana McClusky and Angelina McEachron; 27 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; siblings John (Lolly), Mary (Richard) Martinez, Magdaleno (Jamie), and Robert (Sharon) all of Ohio and Dominga Calloway of Texas; sister-in-law Esther of Ohio; and nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Guadalupe, Antonio and Avelina; nephews Paulie and Mike; and niece LuLu.
A rosary will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, and funeral mass at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16, both at Mary Queen of Peace Church, 3411 Third Ave. S. Cremation will follow.
Memorials may be made to RiverStone Health or the charity of one’s choice.