Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Frank J. Lopez, 80, of Caseyville, Ill., born Feb. 10, 1934, in Bronx, N.Y., passed away Feb. 26, 2014.
Frank served his country in the U.S. Air Force for almost 27 years. He worked in medical administration, and had served overseas in Germany, England, Africa, and Vietnam. He received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal for his exemplary work with aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian aid. He was proud of his service and continued to support the troops long after his retirement.
He and his late wife, Elaine, loved their animals, enjoyed dining out, spending time with good friends, and travelling to visit family. Frank's Catholic faith was very important to him and he loved his home parish at St. Clare Church, where he served as a communion minister. After his Air Force retirement in 1977, Frank became general manager at the BPOE Lodge 481 in Belleville, and later the assistant manager at St. Clair County Club. Up until recently, he worked as a cashier at Auto Spa Car Wash in Fairview Heights, a job he truly enjoyed. Frank's smile and happy disposition could light up a room; he found a friend in everyone. He adored his dear wife, Elaine, bought her flowers often, and deeply mourned her recent passing.
He was preceded in death by his beloved "bride" as he called her, Elaine, nee Buehler, Lopez, who passed away Feb. 3, 2014; and his parents, Francisco and Maria, nee Colon, Lopez.
Surviving are his sons, Edward (Lynn) Lopez of Massachusetts and Patrick Lopez of New York; grandchildren, Edward Lopez, Jr., Breanna (Michael) Benoit, and Alexandra Rushing; and great-grandchildren Domenick, Gabrielle, and Benjamin.
In lieu of flowers and other gifts, donations are requested to St. Clare Catholic Church. On-line condolences may be offered at www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday, March 3, 2014 at Wolfersberger Funeral Home, O'Fallon, Ill.
Funeral: Procession will depart the funeral home at 9:45 a.m., Tuesday, March 4, 2014 for a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Clare Catholic Church, Shiloh, with Rev. James Deiters presiding, with military honors to follow. Burial will take place at a later date at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
WOLFERSBERGER FUNERAL HOME, O'Fallon, Ill.
Wolfersberger Funeral Home - O'Fallon
102 West Washington Street O'Fallon, IL 62269
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Mar. 2, 2014