Lopez, John J., most beloved husband, son, brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law, father, godfather, uncle, friend, community activist, proponent for veteran causes and champion of Hispanic youth, passed away on July 2, 2013. |
John was born on November 11, 1951 in Santa Ana, California, the son of the Consuelo Lopez and the late Regino Lopez. John attended St. Anne's Grammar School and Saddleback High School in Santa Ana. He attended UCI where he received his bachelors in Social Ecology. John began his graduate studies at UCLA and completed them at The University of La Verne. He was currently enrolled in the MBA program at the Peter F. Druker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University.
John and Linda Lopez traveled to Madrid, Spain, where they were joined in matrimony by Father Alberto Torrez , whom petitioned his friend, Pope John Paul II for his signature and stamp. Both John and Linda were delighted that their union was forever stamped and blessed by the Pope!
As John was a kind and gentle soul, rarely was there any dissension in the Lopez household, but once a year there was a clear divide in the home: when UCLA, John's alma mater played USC, Linda's alma mater! Evidence of their fierce rivalry was on display in their home and John delighted in attending the USC vs UCLA games with close family and friends, insisting they become a "Bruin" for the day regardless of their allegiances.
John Lopez was a member of the American GI Forum from the early 80's and through his faithful, conscientious and sincere work and efforts rose to the rank as the California State AGIF Sgt-at- Arms and most recently served as the State Treasurer. John fulfilled the duties of his position with complete integrity and remained completely above reproach as an officer.
John was a no nonsense AGIF member, while others talked about what they planned to do, John developed a plan and executed it in pursuit of the State of California AGIF "Unsung Heroes" projects. Initially lobbying Congress and the Pentagon to award the Medal of Honor to Vietnam Veteran Manny Martinez and recently focusing his efforts for a posthumous award of the Medal of Honor for Iraq Veteran Sgt. Rafael Peralta.
On Cinco de Mayo 2012 John Lopez, Howard Hernandez and the City of Commerce Chapter of the AGIF, planned and executed the California State AGIF attendance of over 100 members of the AGIF at the historical launching of the United States Navy Ship "Cesar Chavez" in San Diego.
One of the proudest moments in the history of the California State American GI Forum occurred when Rear Admiral Lawrence Wallace requested the AGIF members to stand and be recognized as a group of American Patriots. In memory of John, Senator Lou Correa has requested a moment of silence in the State of California Senate in John's honor.
John was also member of Lulac Anaheim Council #2848 addressing scholarships for youth, an Anaheim organization committed to the advances of the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of the Latino population of Anaheim and the surrounding area.
The State of California will miss the conviction to principles, dedication to duty and immeasurable contributions John was able to accomplishment as a member of the California American GI Forum.
John was a 26 year veteran of Northrop Grumman and served as an officer of their management club. He began his career in Human Resources and later moved to the B-2 Program, he most recently worked as a project manager. He was extremely proud of the work he did for Northrop and their products.
John and Linda founded the Hispanic Advisory Council to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Orange County to bring awareness to the community for the need for more Hispanic Casa Volunteers. Their tireless efforts continue to make a difference for many Hispanic Children served by CASA.
In 2000, Olive Crest awarded John for his Outstanding Mentorship. John petitioned the court to overturn a court order, having successfully advocated for a minor lost in an over whelmed system.
John shared an especially close relationship with his mother-in-law Sadie Alvarez. Committed to her care and protection he adored her and was overheard saying "he would do just about anything" for her homemade flour tortillas!
He was rarely seen without his colorful Hawaiian shirts which had delighted him since childhood. He will be missed by all his nieces, nephews, and godchildren, as well as "adopted" nephews in Chula Vista.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Linda J. Alvarez Lopez of Santa Ana; his mother, Consuelo Lopez, of Irvine; his mother-in-law, Sadie Alvarez, of Santa Ana; his daughter, Nycole Leyba (Levi); grandchild, Sage Leyba; his siblings, Socorro Barron (Ruben); Harvey Lopez; Bernie Lopez; Marty Lopez (Laura); Martha Tundag (Steve); Lupe Valencia and Rosie Herrera. His sisters-in-law, Lydia Gonzales and Lorrraine Beltran (Lalo); brother-in-law Edward Alvarez (Darlene).
A Rosary will be held at St. Thomas More at 7 p.m. on July 11th. At 11 a.m. on July 12th, funeral services will be held at St. Thomas More. Inurnment at Holy Sepulcher Cemetary in Orange. In lieu of flowers please send donations to C.A.S.A of Orange County, memo line: John Lopez/Hispanic Advisory Council, 1505 East 17th Street, Santa Ana, California 92705.
Published in Orange County Register from July 9 to July 12, 2013