GUSTAVO ANTONIO RIVERA SR.
Gustavo Antonio Rivera, Sr., 55, of Little Rock, Arkansas, passed away on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born on February 22, 1958, in Mexico City, Mexico to his parents, the late Gustavo Rivera and Mrs. Maria de Lourdes Rivera of Mexico City, who survives her son.
Gustavo was the oldest of three children. He and Kelsey Rivera were married for 10 years. He attended McNeese State University and graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s in marketing. He enjoyed family, tennis, and mentoring junior tennis players.
Gustavo will be remembered by his loving wife, Kelsey, and their children, Gustavo “Tavo” Antonio Rivera Jr., and Maimee Lee Lourdes Rivera.
He is also survived by his sister, Claudia Landry and husband, Ron; his brother, Octavio Rivera and wife, Teresa; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jim Evans III and Shannon; his brother-in-law, Jim Evans IV and wife, Adriane; his nieces and nephews, Kristen Landry, Fernando Rivera, Shannon Landry, Daniela Rivera, Ian Landry, Parker Evans and Amoret Evans.
Gus was the owner of the Gus Rivera Tennis Academy. He taught tennis to numerous young players in Lafayette, New Iberia, and in Little Rock. His students earned scholarships at many colleges and universities and represented a significant percentage of tennis players at these institutions. For years, Gus was a valuable member of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Tennis Association (LTA). He served as the Tennis Professional Representative on the Board and also on the Junior Tennis Council of the LTA. Gus was also a regular member on USTA Southern committees. Gus’ knowledge of tennis was a great resource for the LTA which regularly called upon his expertise. In 2004, Gus was awarded the LTA President’s Award for his outstanding service to the LTA and to tennis in Louisiana.
Gus was one of the top junior tennis coaches in the south. His players competed across Louisiana, the Southern Section, and the nation. Many of his players were highly ranked, and several went on to play collegiately and professionally. Gus was a natural teacher and his students adored him because he made tennis fun. He taught them as much about life off the court as on; and how to be better people. He taught them strength of character and how to cope and be successful in life.
Gus’ specialty was molding beginners into top notch junior players. It was also common for players to drive hours in order to be taught by Gus. Players from New Orleans to Shreveport would drive to Lafayette for a tennis lesson from Gus.
In the years between being a tennis player and tennis professional, he was brand manager at Kellogg, Mennen and marketing director at Binney & Smith. He was tennis director at the Club Hacienda La Herradura in Mexico City, Mexico.
Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, February 3, 2014, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Franklin. A reception will follow at the Glencoe-Vacherie Plantation.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Gus Rivera memorial fund at Iberia Bank, 700 Hardin Rd., Little Rock, Arkansas. 72211.
Please send the family your condolences at Gustavo’s online guestbook at www.griffinleggetthealeyroth.com.