C. Edna Rios- Sissman

Obituary of C. Edna Rios- Sissman

Carmen Edna Ríos Sissman, age 86, died peacefully at home on the morning of Wednesday October 16, 2019. Born September 5th, 1933 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico to Pedro Miguel Ríos and Socorro Ríos (Contreras), she arrived with her family to the mainland in 1944 where her father got work for the war effort at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She was a graduate of Eastern District High School (‘51) and CUNY Brooklyn (‘55).  She began a career in teaching at PS 122 and met the love of her life Jack J. Sissman on a blind date set up by teaching colleagues. They were married on July 31, 1959. Edna continued teaching to provide for the family as Jack pursued his law degree at NYU Law School. After Jack began his legal career, Edna left teaching to start the family. Matthew was born in 1963 and Daniel in 1969. Edna shared Jack’s interest in politics and campaigned with him during his campaigns for New York City Council in 1969 and Colonie Town Judge in 1975.  In 1973, the family moved from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Latham, where Jack took a job with NYSUT. As the boys got older, Edna decided to return to and further her education, enrolling at the State University of Albany in August of 1976.  In May of 1978 she was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Bilingual Education.

Edna entered state service in September of 1984 when she started at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as a Budget Analyst, and retired in 2000 as an Administrative Assistant.  Following her retirement, Edna along with the rest of the family diligently looked after Jack as his health declined.  They also helped Matthew to recover from his 2013 accident.  Edna was a member of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany.  She was also an active member of the Latham Women’s Club, serving as president from 1980 to 1982 and as co-president from 1990 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1995. Throughout the time of her involvement with the Latham Women’s Club she enthusiastically threw herself into all of the club’s projects. For many years before and at the time of her death, Edna was a proud member of the Albany County Democratic Committee, representing District 53 in the Town of Colonie.

Edna will be remembered as a kind, generous, patient soul who always had time for a friend (or even a stranger) in need.  

Survivors include her sons Matthew and Daniel and Daniel’s wife Megan of the Capital Region, her sister Neddy Ortiz (Juan) of Hazlet, NJ, her brothers,  Peter Ríos (Karen) of Florida, Joseph Casella  and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Edna was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 51 years Jack J. Sissman as well as her parents, Pedro Miguel Rios and Socorro Contreras Melendez, and  brothers, Carlos Manuel and Walter Casella as well as her step mother, Mary Casella. Throughout her life, Edna was proud of her Puerto Rican heritage.  Accordingly, contributions in Edna’s memory are welcome at the Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Program.   https://www.hispanicfederationunidos.org/

There will be a viewing at the Levine Memorial Chapel, 649 Washington Avenue, Albany, from 4-7 on Thursday, October 24th.  Services will be held at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road, at 1 on Friday, October 25th. All are welcome.

The burial will occur at the Gerald B. H. Solomon National Cemetery in Schuylerville.  Information about the specifics will be available at a later date. The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Public Safety staff from the Town of Colonie, especially the Colonie EMS for their professionalism when they responded to our residence on Wednesday 

Shiva will be held at the Fuller Road Firehouse,1342 Central Avenue in Albany ( Colonie) on Friday, October 25, 2019 from 4-8pm All are welcome

For folks unable to attend the service at Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany on Friday, please note it will be live streamed and you will have the capability to view . Details how to view will be posted.


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4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Levine Memorial Chapel
649 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York, United States


1:00 pm
Friday, October 25, 2019
Congregation Beth Emeth
100 Academy Road, <no data>
Albany, New York, United States
(518) 436-9761


Rabbi Scott L. Shpeen will be officiating


Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Program. https://www.hispanicfederationunidos.org/


Shiva will be held at the Fuller Road Firehouse, 1342 Central Avenue in Colonie on Friday, October 25, 2019 from 4-8pm All are welcome
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