Dear Plymouth,

This past Sunday, July 7, we brought our dad, Rodney Riviello, home to Clyde, NY, and had the most beautiful celebration of his life on what would have been his 70th birthday. Thank you for helping us reach this milestone. Thank you for being his home for the last 18 months of his life. 

For close to 100 hours straight, you walked by our side as we worked to find dad. From the mother/daughter duo who coordinated volunteers and rallied updates on “All Things Plymouth” (Facebook) to the businesses and residents who donated water and supplies or showed up to search to the woman who wrote a poem about my dad being “called home” that we loved so much we displayed at his services – you are all remarkable human beings. You have no idea how much you lifted us and carried us through the worst time in our lives.

To the Plymouth Police Department and METRO-LEC Task Force which searched with K9s and helicopters, on foot and on bike, through hundreds of cameras and knocked on countless doors – we know you tried. We know this was not the outcome you wanted. We saw your tears and we know you shared our pain. Thank you for doing all that you could for the time that you could and for treating us with grace, compassion and understanding through four grueling, hot days.

To the woman who ultimately found my dad – while we don’t know your name, you are our angel. You gave us and our dad peace and allowed us to find closure from this nightmare. His final view was a beautiful one. 

More than 250 people attended a Celebration of Life for Rodney Riviello, which was held on July 7 at Lauraville Landing in Clyde, NY. Credit: (Photo courtesy of the Riviello family)

To Dad – It is quiet without your TV on and we’ve reached for our phones 100 times to text you some silly thing.  Devon looks for you in your room to cuddle on the couch. Robby wants you to talk to God about the Yankees slump. Not a day will go by that we won’t think of you and miss you, but we’ll stay strong the way you raised us.  And we will now switch our efforts to making sure no other family endures this pain.

Many of you have asked how to continue to help. Please, make memories with your dad. Dads make memories with your kids or grandkids. Show up for each other. Coach each other. Encourage each other. Work hard for each other. When you hear Chicago on the radio or the Yankees beat your Red Sox, smile and think of Rod. 

If you are really so inclined, we have asked that donations be made to the Plymouth Police Relief Association, 20 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, MA, 02360 Attn: Officer Alex Smolinsky or Clyde-Savannah Dollars for Scholars, PO Box 190, Savannah, NY 13146.

Your life was love and labor,

Your love for your family true,

You did your best for all of us,

We will always remember you.

With gratitude,

The Family of Rodney Riviello – Julie, Michelle, and Dan

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