From the stray kitten he rescued off the streets of L.A. to the gentlemen he mentored at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Daniel Rivas always put others before himself.
The youngest son of Enrique (Joe) and Carmen Rivas, Daniel spent his early years on Milwaukee’s south side, growing up with his four brothers and two sisters. The compassion that grew from his humble roots gave him a heart that he unselfishly gave to others.
His father, originally from Zacatecas, Mexico, made a living painting cars, his mother was a hard working Milwaukeean. They eventually moved the family to Shorewood, where Daniel played saxophone in the band and linebacker for the Shorewood High School football team.
In 1980 Daniel was hospitalized for a month after suffering severe burns and a collapsed lung in an electrical fire that damaged the family’s home in Shorewood.
But he battled back from his injuries to graduate high school the following year in 1981.
He developed a passion for cooking under the mentorship of chef John Paul and carried his skills to Victor’s restaurant in Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles in 1988 to join his brother.
As a Concierge at the legendary Regent Wilshire Beverly Hills Hotel, Daniel wallowed in the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. Dan was proud of his work and he loved guiding visiting family and friends on tours of L.A. On his days off he was an entrepreneur with his brother Michael running a limo service, and swimming pool services as Daniel loved basking in the sun.
Daniel returned to Milwaukee in 2008 with his cat “Lady” to be with his family and help his siblings care for his mother. In Milwaukee he worked in the hospitality service industry and relished the family gatherings that always found him in the kitchen creating their favorite dishes. He also loved planning get-togethers for Packers and Milwaukee Bucks games, and he enjoyed spending time in the summer at Milwaukee’s lakefront.
With the compassion fueled by his Catholic faith, Daniel gave his time as a volunteer for Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, Daniel passed away from a brain aneurysm at the age of 57, preceded in death by his parents, is survived by his dearest siblings, sisters Marie (nee Herrera), Elizabeth (Mike) Pomer and brothers Joseph (Corinne), Roger, Michael (June) and Enrique Jr. (Sara). A proud uncle, he is also survived by Marco, Justin (Kali), Jessica (John), Ryan, Brandon (Ashley), Reid, Dylan, Brady and Aidan. Great uncle to Kaylynn, Hendrix, Tilian, Kenley, Everly, Natalie and Isabella, and survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins in Milwaukee, Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Mexico. He will be missed by great
Condolences may be offered at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St, Milwaukee, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 10:00 am. There will be a funeral mass at 11:00 am, followed by a reception at 12:30 pm at Dan’s favorite restaurant, Victor’s 1230 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee. Donations may be made to the Burn Center at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital or The Milwaukee Rescue Mission.