Obituary: Natalie Rivers, 1972-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Natalie Rivers, 1972-2022 

Burlington woman was a real life Wonder Woman

Published August 16, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated August 16, 2022 at 11:46 a.m.

click to enlarge COURTESY
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Natalie Gervais Rivers passed away June 23, 2022, at the University of Vermont Medical Center, surrounded by family, friends and music.

Born Natalie Gervais Martel on February 29,1972, she was a leap-year baby who continued to live life on her own terms. Natalie was diagnosed with myotonic muscular dystrophy at the age of 12, and she accepted it with grace and found ways to cope with the progressive disease. Natalie spent much of her youth growing up in Addison County and attended Mount Abraham Union High School. While at Mount Abraham, Natalie sang in the choir, performed in many plays, and made lifelong friends. Natalie attended the University of Vermont where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology, which served her well during her working career.

In 2014, Natalie married Jess Rivers and left a lasting impression on everyone as she walked down the aisle to the theme song of Wonder Woman. Marrying Jess was the happiest day of her life, and what a party!

Natalie was very proud of her French-Canadian heritage, and in her youth, she spent much time with her family in Québec. She is survived and predeceased by many family members in Québec.

Natalie loved music and was especially fond of punk rock and metal, which led her to many shows; she especially loved the Ramones.

Natalie is predeceased by both of her dads, Bernard Martel and Paul Smith; her paternal and maternal grandparents; and her beloved cats, Puss and Tribbs. Natalie is survived by the love of her life, her husband, Jess; her fur baby, Gemma; her mother and father-in-law, Rick and Sue Rivers; her mother Francoise Smith; sister, Alice Quesnel; nephews, Ethan and Wilder; and niece, Alana. Natalie is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.

A celebration of life for Natalie will be on October 8, 2022, at her mom and sister’s home in Orwell. Details will be available on Facebook.
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