We Are Here to Help
Our staff are known for their compassion and dedication to each and every family.
Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations of Santa Fe
and Santa Fe Memorial Gardens
Tim Rivera - Owner and Funeral Director
Tim is the proud owner of Northern New Mexico’s last family owned and operated funeral home, whose newly remodeled Taos location dates back to 1933. Tim grew up the second oldest of six siblings, living above his parents’ family funeral home. A lifelong lover of learning, Tim graduated from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, studied at San Francisco State University and the University of New Mexico, obtained his insurance and celebrant licenses, and studied abroad in Spain to explore his family heritage. His keen interest and exploration in education now affords him the expertise and joy of mentorship, as he helps guide the next generation of funeral directors. Over the last few decades, as national funeral home chains began pursuing and overtaking locally owned mortuaries, Tim saw the value of maintaining hometown ownership. He decided to grow the family business with the purchase of the Block Salazar Mortuary, which, in time, was converted to Rivera Family Funeral Home & Crematory of Española. Shortly after the purchase of Santa Fe Funeral Options, Tim began beautifying and expanding Santa Fe Memorial Gardens Cemetery and building Santa Fe’s Native-American-inspired Kiva Chapel of Light. In 2018, Tim launched Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations of Los Alamos for the convenience of the citizens of Los Alamos and White Rock. Expansion has allowed Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations to thrive as a hometown New Mexico business, and remaining family-owned has allowed Tim to achieve his vision of creating a funeral home that represents the human values of compassion, connection, and continuous personal support and care. Tim is the co-founder of Passages International, a pioneer company in green, eco-friendly burial and cremation products; the founder of the Monarch Cremation Society, an alternative cremation-specialized Victorian funeral home in downtown Denver; past-chairman of the New Mexico Funeral Board; and member of numerous non-profit boards. Tim’s greatest pride, however, is his nearly 20-year collaboration with Golden Willow Retreat, a locally-owned residential sanctuary and life-saving program for survivors of grief and loss, located just outside of Taos. Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations and Golden Willow Retreat’s rare and powerful relationship offers a nationwide example of the cooperative beauty between a funeral home and a grief-support program. In his free time, Tim enjoys skiing, scuba diving, traveling around the world, cycling, backpacking, and spending time with his family.
Bob Clifford - Executive Director of Operations, Director of Community Outreach, and Funeral Director
With a career spanning over 50 years in funeral service, Bob is a licensed Funeral Service Practitioner for the state of New Mexico, and he greatly values the opportunity to work personally with local families during difficult times of loss. Raised in Idaho and Montana, he received an Associate of Arts in funeral service education from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon in August 1969, and he completed his schooling at Boise State College with a degree in business management and marketing. He worked for several years in Montana before moving to Santa Fe in the late 1980s. Bob is twice past-president of the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club and is a major contributor in time and effort to create the yearly Zozobra event. He has served as Exalted Ruler of the Santa Fe Elks Lodge and is a board member of several groups and foundations in Santa Fe. He is married to Mary Armijo, who grew up in Santa Fe, and he has two adult daughters, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Bob is an avid fly fisherman and intends to devote more time to this, along with amateur photography, in the years to come.
Paul Vigil - Operations Manager and Funeral Specialist
Paul serves Rivera’s Santa Fe location as Operations Manager and Managing Funeral Specialist. A native New Mexican who was born and raised in Santa Fe, Paul is known for his compassionate service to his community. Transitioning from his family’s roofing business, Paul worked his way through every position at Rivera, from operating the cemetery backhoe to supervising the cemetery crew to becoming a Transfer Care Team leader, licensed embalmer, funeral arranger, director, and manager. He is a dedicated professional who values honesty and sincerity. In his free time, Paul enjoys fishing, camping, and hanging out with his children.
Sandra Huerta- Office Manager and Funeral Specialist
Having transitioned from Santa Fe’s Front Office Manager to Funeral Specialist with licenses in arranging and directing, Sandra has come a long way in being able to help her bereaved Mexican families. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Sandra is fluent in Spanish and has helped many Spanish-speaking residents of Santa Fe make funeral and memorial plans for their loved ones. She especially enjoys creating personalized prayer cards, memorial folders, candles, and DVDs. She can relate to families’ grief because she’s had someone very special and close to her pass away. She loves helping her families through tough times, and she has become very close to all the families she has worked with. Before moving to Santa Fe in 2017 from Racine, Wisconsin, Sandra graduated from LA Academy and worked for 17 years as a case manager for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation agency. When she’s not working, she likes to be with her kids, go out on a weekly girls’ night with her friends, and spend lots of time taking care of her flowers. If her grandchildren lived closer, she would be with them every day during her non-working hours.
Bill Roybal - Funeral Specialist
Bill received his degree in mortuary science from the Dallas Institute, after having also attended New Mexico State University, and he practiced as a Funeral Director in Santa Fe from 1978 to 1983. He was then self-employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. Bill is glad to have found his way back to helping families as much as possible during a very difficult time in their lives. Born in Los Alamos, Bill has lived in Santa Fe for the past 53 years. He graduated from St. Michael’s High School Class of ‘71, and for the last 30 years, he has maintained his connection with the Horsemen by selling tickets at all varsity football and boys’ basketball games. Bill and his wife of 43 years, Nancy, with whom he has one daughter (and son-in-law), enjoy camping and spending as much time as possible with their three grandchildren.
Marvin Valdez - Ambassador
Marvin is a native Santa Fean and a retiree from the Museum of New Mexico Fabrication Department, where he worked for 23 years, nine of those as a supervisor. During his employment with the museum, he was responsible for installing casework for art installations. In his ambassadorship at Rivera, Marvin enjoys helping families feel more at ease during a difficult time of grief by being attentive to details that could easily be overlooked. Marvin is a lifetime parishioner of San Isidro Parish, a lifetime member and past President of Caballeros De Vargas, a former catechist, and he’s participated in music ministry for 40 years. He and his wife, Jackie Valdez, have two adult children, and they are the proud grandparents of one grandchild. In his free time, Marvin enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, and wood-working.
Philip Bransford – Ambassador
Most people know Philip from Alex Safety Lane, his father’s automotive repair shop, and the two local businesses Philip started and operated as a cooling systems specialist: Yamaha of Santa Fe and Phil’s Radiator Shop. A native Santa Fean and the 10th child of 14 born to Polly and Alex Bransford, Philip attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School for nine years and graduated from Santa Fe High. He served as a U.S. Navy damage controlman aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War, and following his military service, Philip completed his bachelor’s degree in theology from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. For many years he served as deacon, led the Evangelistic Ministry, and worked with the Prison Ministry for First Baptist Church, and later he helped found Rodeo Road Baptist Church. Philip’s ambassadorship with Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations fulfills a deep desire he has to support his community through ministry. He’s been married to Doris Cordova for almost 49 years, and together they have four children and nine grandchildren, with whom he loves to spend his free time. Philip is also an avid motorcyclist.
Jose ``Jody`` Ortiz - Advanced Funeral Planning Consultant
As a Pre-Need Consultant, Jody ensures one’s final wishes are clearly stated and arranged so that loved ones won’t be left wondering what to do on one of the worst days of their lives. He’s proud to have helped provide peace of mind to families through pre-planning since 2012. Jody spent the majority of his career as a building maintenance supervisor, heavy equipment operator, and plumber for city and state entities, including Santa Fe Property Control, New Mexico Department of Corrections, and New Mexico Department of Transportation, the latter of which he retired from in 2011. In his role at Santa Fe Property Control, Jody helped bring the city into ADA compliance. In his free time, Jody loves riding his Harley, RVing, and working in his yard. He was born and raised in Glorieta, NM.
Jacqueline Lopez - Ambassador
Jacqueline was born and raised in Santa Fe. She has been a proud member of Rivera Family Funeral Home since 2016 when she graduated from Santa Fe High School. She takes pride in serving the many families in her community.
Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations of Taos
Doreen Martinez - Senior Director of Operations and Funeral Specialist
Doreen’s career underwent a significant evolution in 1998 when she transitioned from her midwifery secretarial position to a secretarial position with Rivera Family Funerals & Cremation. In the last twenty years, she has earned the leadership role of Senior Director for all four of Rivera’s locations. Doreen loves her work; she considers it an honor and a blessing to be part of such a compassionate and sincere family as the Rivera's. She treats every family who walks through our doors as part of the Rivera family as well. Her dedication, kindness, and conscientiousness as a funeral arranger and director was rewarded with a formal recognition of being in the national top 2% of exceptional customer service professionals. Doreen is one of ten children, four of whom have sadly passed away. She has been married for 37 years and is the proud mother of three children. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her family and three precious grandchildren.
Victor Torres - Funeral Specialist
An esteemed US Army Veteran who served as Team Leader with the 1/21 Gimlet Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Victor spent three years in the Army Reserves, and, prior to that, four years in active duty, including a deployment to Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Victor takes the worldly experience he absorbed through his military service and offers it - without politics - to his community, as a funeral arranger, director, and embalmer. Prior to enlisting in the Army, Victor attended two years of college at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he studied business and marketing and was a member of the Air Force ROTC, Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, and Kappa Sigma social fraternity. He worked for some time as a behavioral health technician at a youth rehabilitation center, and he is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B). Victor recently became an Entered Apprentice (EA) Freemason. In his spare time, Victor enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing, and spending time with his three children. He is a lifelong resident of Taos.
Sandy Martinez - Office Manager, Owner of Answering Dispatch Service
A lifelong resident of Taos, Sandy and her family provided after-hours telephone answering services for Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations for over thirty years. For the last twelve, Sandy has managed Taos’s front office. After experiencing much personal loss in her life, including the deaths of her parents, the late Eloy and Martha Mares; the tragic loss of her first husband at a young age; her auntie whom she took care of for four years; her mother-in-law; and several close friends, Sandy relates comfortably to grieving people. She is sincerely compassionate and able to provide meaningful counsel. She feels a genuine belonging and closeness with her Rivera family in Taos, and she thanks God for placing her in this meaningful work. Sandy was previously employed as a human resources professional for the Town of Taos and an employment specialist with the Department of Labor. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and being a homebody with her husband, Mike (Maggie) Martinez. Sandy has one son, Eloy Montoya, who is her rock and her whole world, and who, with his wife Valerie, has blessed Sandy with two beautiful grandchildren, Mateo and Brianah. Together, Sandy and Mike share five sons, five granddaughters, and two grandsons.
Rick Silva - Advanced Planning Consultant
With Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations, Rick is able to assist families in Northern New Mexico with their final wishes. A licensed agent with an FIC (Fraternal Insurance Counselor) designation. Rick segued naturally into the insurance industry after closing his bail bond business, which he owned and operated in Lincoln County, NM for over 20 years. The majority of Rick’s career, before retiring in 2010, was dedicated to county and state government. In 2000, he was elected Lincoln County Assessor. He also served on the Board of Directors, and later elected President, of the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC). During his second term as Assessor, Rick was appointed by the Governor of New Mexico as the Director of Property Tax, where he completed his career in government. Highlighting Rick’s political career were his numerous trips to Washington, D.C., where, as one of the appointed committee members of Public Lands for the National Association of Counties, Rick advocated for proper funding for all counties at the national level. Rick’s political background anchors him in a belief system of fairness and open-mindedness, and he appreciates that his Rivera colleagues also embrace those positive attitudes. Rick hails from the rural areas of Lincoln and Otero Counties. When time permits, he enjoys bow hunting and visiting historical sites throughout the Southwest. You can often find him on the golf course with his wife Anna and regularly volunteering as a “gopher,” and at times a unified golf partner, for Special Olympics, for which Anna is Co-Director of SONM Area 2. He greatly values and enjoys participating with the athletes and helping them achieve their dreams and goals.
Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations of Espanola, Los Alamos
and Rio Grande Crematory
Al Vincent Romeo- Operations Manager and Funeral Specialist
A dedicated member of the Rivera Family since 2012, Al Vincent takes pride in providing families with personalized and dignified care. He currently manages our Transfer Care Team and holds licenses in arranging, directing, and embalming. To Al Vincent, getting to know the families at Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations whom he otherwise might never meet is a privilege, an honor, and a personally expansive experience that brings a sense of connection, purpose, and responsibility. Born in Santa Fe and raised in Sombrillo, Al Vincent comes from a varied professional background in construction; automotive mechanics; small engine repair; and operating, transporting, and servicing heavy equipment. He has also worked in the food and agriculture industries, specifically culinary arts and ranching. Outside of work, Al Vincent enjoys spending time with his parents, sisters, and extended family.
Amber Pope - Los Alamos Operations Manager and Funeral Specialist
Amber received her college education at the University of New Mexico, receiving three Associate of Arts degrees and one Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She was one of the first students to graduate with a concentration in Environmental Education and a minor in Sustainability Studies, educational gifts that allowed her to make a hands-on difference in her community. Amber also worked for many years as a bartender throughout the Northeast community of Albuquerque, learning how to make comfortable small talk with strangers, use humor as medicine, practice patience, and embrace the strange and beautiful ways we all rely on each other. Later, her experience as a Title and Escrow Technician taught her the professional urgency and care necessary when serving people undergoing major life transitions. Amber was drawn to Rivera Family Funerals & Cremations for the emotional reward of lessening another’s burden during a time of tragedy or grief. During times of loss and grief in her own family, Amber found the Rivera staff to be wonderfully emotionally intelligent and capable - bright guiding lights that she now strives to emulate. As a recipient of so much grace from others over her lifetime, she is incredibly proud to now be in a position to offer such service. Amber was born and raised in Los Alamos, where her grandparents migrated during WWII. After studying, working, and living in Albuquerque for 15 years, she missed small-town life, and now chooses to live and work in the beautiful Espanola Valley, happy to reconnect with all the fascinating characters of her LA past. Outside of work, Amber enjoys backpacking, hiking, and skiing whenever possible, as well as reading, writing letters, and cooking for others as much as she can. She is showered with the most interesting and loving friends and family anyone could ask for.