Betty Rivera – a Legacy of Art and Music

Betty Rivera – The Rivera Family Fund for Arts and Music supports art and music students in the Northwest Corner.

Local author Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Rivera enjoyed many years working as an administrative assistant at the Anaconda American Brass Company, but writing and volunteering in her community were her passions. A life-long resident of Torrington, Betty grew up in a home on Taylor Street with her brother, Ted, and her sister, Catherine. Close siblings, the three lived together throughout their adult lives in a home on Cook Street. Ted worked for many years at the Torrington Company.

Catherine worked for Western Union. The three frequented antique shows and co-authored articles about antiques. Ted and Betty co-authored “Inkstands and Inkwells, a Collector’s Guide,” published by Crown. Betty published many articles in magazines, including Architectural Digest,Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living, and in newspapers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. Betty’s poetry was published in many religious, literary and poetry magazines, and her children’s stories and poems were published in numerous popular children’s magazines.

Betty was a member of the Torrington Historical Society, the Torrington Historical Preservation Program, the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Auxiliary, the Connecticut ARCO Retirees, the University of Connecticut Litchfield County Writer’s Project, and the Quota Club. She was a past President of the Torrconn Woman’s Club and the Torrington Council of Catholic Women.

“Torrington was their life,” said Susan Yost, a second cousin and close friend. “They were passionate about art and music.” In 1995, Ted passed away, leaving his estate to Betty and Catherine. And, in early 2014, Catherine passed away, leaving the remainder of her estate and her half of Ted’s estate to Betty.

In the Spring of 2014, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Rivera passed away, but she left a legacy that continues her creative life’s work and honors her brother and sister. Through bequest language in her will, Ms. Rivera established The Rivera Family Fund for Arts and Music, an endowed scholarship fund that will support art and music students in the Northwest Corner forever.

Contact your Community Foundation staff at: (860) 626-1245 to discuss your charitable giving options and goals.