Raul Jesus Lopez Prida March 15, 1951 - February 15, 2020 ESCONDIDO Raul Jesus Lopez Prida passed away on February 15, 2020 in Escondido, CA. He was born on March 15, 1951 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. In 1975 he graduated as an architect from the University of Morelos. That same year he married Patt Rodriguez who was in Cuernavaca studying Spanish. They met five days after she arrived and were married a year later in the cathedral of Cuernavaca. Their son, Ernesto was born in 1976, and soon after that, Raul took a job with Dein Construction Company. For eight years his diverse work experiences with Dein in architectural as well as engineering projects, took him and his family to project sites in Acapulco, Mexico City, Oaxaca and Chihuahua. He loved working onsite, supervising projects. He was esteemed and promoted for his dedication to each project he was assigned. And each job required more responsibility and supervising larger crews. His largest and most challenging project was in the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. He was Superintendent of construction of a major concrete dock with railroad access for international ships arriving and unloading their cargo to be transported on land through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This was an important project funded by the Mexican government to offer an alternative to the Panama Canal. He was 29 years old.1983, he and his family returned to Cuernavaca where he built their family home. He worked for the Department of Transportation supervising construction of a highway in Cuatla, Morelos. Then he worked for the County Assessors in Cuernavaca, assessing property values. In 1987, he applied for and received his legal status to reside in the U.S., so he and his family moved to Escondido, CA. His first job was as a maintenance worker at the Rancho Bernardo Golf Course. He would tell you it wasn't his proudest moment, but he did what he had to do to get started in a foreign country. He earned the respect of his employer and his coworkers with his hard work and positive attitude. Soon after, he got his big break and was hired by Southwind Construction Co. to work on construction of the Rancho Valencia Spa. His actions reflected his knowledge and expertise in construction and his ability to organize and supervise. He had a strong work ethic, enjoyed his job and getting to know the people he worked with. He was given the responsibility to manage the construction of a house in Rancho Valencia and the rest is history! He stayed with the company for 10 years and only left so that he could start his own business, Hacienda Art Deco Imports. He traveled to various places in Mexico to find his providers for Mexican construction materials and Southwind was one of his best customers. He proved to his customers that they could put their trust in the quality of his products and services. He took great pride in his business. He attributed much of the success of the business to his brother, Migue, who relocated from Mexico City to Tecate, Baja California to help him out and stayed to work with him.He loved to tell his grandkids, Christian, Isabel, Kalina and Gabby that he never worked a day in his life because he loved what he did. He had a sense of humor as endearing as it sometimes was annoying, and a positive outlook on life. He himself said, "I like to see the glass half full, not half empty" and "never say I can't", say "I tried." He made friends easily and he was truly a "giver", always eager to share his time, expertise, advice, humor, and good fortune with family and friends. He loved to travel, especially to beaches in Mexico, but he also visited Spain, Canada, Italy and Greece (where being the architect he was, he marveled at the Parthenon). He loved his parents and siblings, visiting them often and taking his parents on trips to places they'd never seen before. He adored his special needs sister, Rosi, and enjoyed making her laugh. He loved music and listened to it most of the time whether he was working or playing. He had a brilliant mind that went a mile a minute. Raul tried to retire in 2010. He and Patt moved to Cabo San Lucas. He loved the ocean and walking around town talking to tourists; listening to them talk about their experiences and sharing his own with them. After two and a half years there he realized he still wasn't ready to give up working yet so they returned to the San Diego area and he worked his business part time. He was diagnosed with inoperable, stage 4, gastric cancer in 2017. But he continued to work with even more resolve to leave a legacy of love and courage for his family. He was given a year to live, but he made it to three years. He passed away February 15, 2020, just one month short of his 69th birthday and three weeks shy of his 45th wedding anniversary. He died at home, with hospice care in the company of his wife, son, daughter-in-law, Kris, and his brother, Migue. He is survived by his wife, son, four grandchildren, his 97 year-old father, his sister, Lety, his two brothers, Hugo and Migue, various cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.If you knew him you would agree with me when I say, "we lost a good one."His wish was that his ashes be laid to rest in the cathedral of Cuernava, Mexico.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jul. 3, 2020.