Obituary of William Rivera

October 2, 2022

William Rivera - Rodriguez, Kyoshi, father, partner, devoted friend and beloved member of the New York City Martial Arts community, was in essence a true Warrior. William (beloved to many as Willie) was a powerful spirit, born on a small farm in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. He grew up in Williamsburg Brooklyn and was raised by his beloved grandmother, “Mama Jija” during the turbulent 1960’s until the 1980’s. At an early age, William became a student of life and survival, first mentored by his father, William Rivera, Sr. 

William began his training in Karate at a young age to defend himself against “the thugs” he encountered while living in the Marcy Public Housing, his travels to Brooklyn Tech, and throughout NYC. As William visited many dojos, learning a variety of martial arts styles, he found his life’s passion in Karate. He trained hard and educated himself in not just the fighting skills but the spirituality and lifestyle of the art itself. William was an 8th Degree Black Belt, a mentor, and forever a student. Later in his life he was a contributing writer and editor for, founded by his life long friend and fellow martial artist Eddie Morales. 

In addition to his many accomplishments in the Karate community, William was a devoted father to his son William “Billy” Rivera, whom he raised and loved dearly. He was also a loving partner of 22 years with Lydia Alicea, a trusted step father to Samantha, Rachel and Miranda, and a friend to countless others. William always had a smile on his face, loved to wave at strangers, and likely had a camera in hand. His smile, heart, and unique ways will be missed and cherished by all who knew and loved him. 

Funeral Services


October 6, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Andrett Funeral Home

199 Bleecker Street

New York, NY 10012

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Posted by: Annie Raimundi - West Hempstead, NY - Friend November 30, 2023