CAMPBELL, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Pauline “Tootsie” Rivera, 87, passed away Wednesday morning, December 28, 2022, at Briarfield Place, with her loving family by her side.

“Tootsie”, as she was affectionately known by all who knew and loved her, was born July 22, 1935, in Campbell, the daughter of Ralph and Regina Thomas Centofanti.  She was always proud to say she was a lifelong resident of Campbell.

Tootsie was a 1952 graduate of Campbell Memorial High School.

She held many jobs throughout her life, from catering weddings and baking at Christmas with her sisters, to the job she loved the most, cooking for the students at YSU, making lifelong friends along the way at every job she held.

The most important job she held was the one she loved the most, being a wife, mother and “nana” to her family. She enjoyed taking care of every one of her grandchildren, creating memories that included making cornmeal and bagels to Sunday dinners. Every grandchild will carry a piece of their “nana” in their hearts forever.

Tootsie loved spending time with her family and friends, which often included going to music in the park, traveling with her husband Frank to Las Vegas, visiting family in Italy, Puerto Rico and Florida, and Friday night football games, sitting along the wall watching her Campbell Red Devils play. Above all, she enjoyed sharing her love of cooking and baking with her children and grandchildren.  

Growing up, she was a member of St. Lucy Church. After her marriage to Frank, she became a parishioner of Sta. Rosa de Lima Church, then a member of St. John Catholic Church. Tootsie also volunteered at St. Joseph the Provider Church, where she was a pierogi lady.  She was also a longtime member of the Sulmona Valley Club Ladies Auxiliary. 

Tootsie will be deeply missed and always remembered by her husband of 66 years, Frank; her children, Frank and Rosalie, Denise and Vince Zucchero, Jeniene Perez and Mark and Tracy; 26 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; her brother, Lenny and Maria Sliwinski; brother and sister-in-law, Aubin and Isa Rivera; her very best friend of 80 years, Elga “Liz” Yanek and too many to mention, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather, Leo Sliwinski; son, Ralph Rivera; son-in-law, Angel Perez and brothers and sisters, Rose, Patty and Sonny.

The entire Rivera family would like to extend our utmost appreciation and gratitude to Ed and Diane Reese, the nurses, aides and the entire staff at Briarfield Place for their love, compassion and kindness in caring for our “Tootsie” like she was their “Tootsie”.

The Rivera family has entrusted their loved one to the care of the Wasko Funeral Home and will receive family and friends Monday, January 2, 2023, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Prayers will be offered at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, 159 Reed Avenue in Campbell.

Visit www.waskofamily.com to send Tootsie’s family condolences.

A television tribute will air Sunday, January 1 at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX. Video will be posted here the day of airing.