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Eli “Lee” A. Lopez, 81, died Friday, March 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nev. A funeral mass was held in Las Vegas at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church on March 20. A visitation will be held locally at St. Peter-St. Rosa Catholic Church in Arboles, Colo., on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m.-noon. Burial will follow the visitation at Rosa Cemetery in Arboles at 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Lopez was born on May 28, 1931, in Arboles, Colo., on the family ranch, to Margarito and Theodorita Lopez. He grew up in Arboles on the ranch. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951 and served for three years. Upon his discharge, he worked in road construction all around the southwest United States. It was during that time that he met Lupe Cruz while working in the Flagstaff, Ariz., area. They were married in 1956 in Flagstaff.
The young family moved to Las Vegas, Nev., in 1961. Lee continued working with the Operating Engineers Union Local 12 until his retirement in 1982. Lee also operated his own business in Las Vegas from 1976-1982 in road construction.
He spent his retirement years commuting between his homes in Las Vegas and Arboles.
Lee was a workaholic; he enjoyed his work and projects on his ranch. Due to poor health in his later years, he enjoyed the views from his screened-in porch in Arboles.
Lee is survived by his wife, Lupe Lopez of Las Vegas, Nev.; children John Lopez of Las Vegas, Gloria Lopez of Las Vegas, and Eli Lopez of Arboles; siblings Elisida Enriquez of Durango, Colo., Manuel “Rudy” Lopez of Anchorage, Alaska, and Pete Lopez of Arboles; grandchildren Patricia, Steve, Joanna, Leanna, Tony, Leah and Shana, and several great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Bill Lopez (formerly of Las Vegas); brothers Tony, Dan and Richard Lopez; sisters: Florence Vallejos and Angelina Barela.