If you wanted to get Hilario F. Lopez's attention, it was best to scream out "Trix!"
"I nicknamed him 'Trix' because he was always pulling tricks on people," said Timothy Flores, Lopez's stepbrother. "April Fool's Day was his favorite day of the year."
Lopez, 22, of Ingleside, Texas, died Dec. 12 during an ambush in Fallujah. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Eric Pena remembered jogging with Lopez, his best friend, around Naval Station Ingleside at 3 a.m. in August just days before he left for his second deployment to Iraq.
"Even in the dark with raccoons and rabbits jumping out at us, he never hesitated," said Pena. "I was scared, but he kept motivating me and telling me to keep going."
Lopez liked to fish, take motors apart and do carpentry. He graduated high school in 2002 and his interest in the Marines came from watching shows on the Discovery Channel.
"He watched those shows all the time," Flores said. "He joined just weeks out of high school. He was like that. When 'Trix' wanted something, he went after it."
He is survived by his parents, Jimmy and Angie Lopez.
Published online on Jan. 28, 2005