Nancy Jeanne Riviello, née Decker, was amplified by her voice. While small in stature, her presence in song soared to fill any space; while lightly built, she carried conversations tirelessly. Years ago, her decline robbed the maestra of her instrument – as if a normal life’s supply of notes and words was still not enough to supply her. Therefore, when she finally took her bow on February 18, 2014, it was in silence. In the echo of her eighty-year serenade, the many parts she sang can still be heard.
Her heart sang as she vowed to love and honor her Carmen Frank Riviello until the end. Through 57 anniversaries, their bond endured through the ages, until sundered by his passing in 2011.
As a new mother, she cooed and sang to her firstborn, Carmen Jr., in Pennsylvania. In California, she intoned and murmured at the arrival of her first daughter, Pontia. To her last child, Corrine, she trilled to the ukuleles of Hawaii, where Nancy would return with her Carmen as often as they could throughout her life. The tunes she shared with her children would be shared in turn with the spouses they would take: Kathleen, Beverley, and Russell.
The echo of her lullabies and the scent of her ginger crinkles and chocolate chip cookies remains strong with her seven grandchildren — Russell, Christine, Clare, Thomas, Sean, Rochelle, and Shana — to whom she was simply Nona.
The gentle service and many songs of her active retirement as a domestic missionary ring sharply still in the hearts of those she touched, from Hays Hills Baptist Church in Buda, Texas to New Smyrna Beach in Florida to the Plains Baptist Assembly of Floydada, Texas to the First Baptist Church of Schertz, Texas.
The work she did resonates more distantly in a panoply of roles at Woolworth and Capitol Records in Scranton, as well as a children’s radio show host in El Paso and a dental assistant in Austin before coming to Motorola as part of the team responsible for the 68030 and 68040 microprocessors which powered many Macintosh computers.
To her father, Harry Decker, she was his last-born child; to her mother, Ethel, she was both daughter and student – teaching her piano and sending her to voice conservatory, thus passing her love of music to Nancy. The graceful notes which Nancy has left will echo in us forever.