Gonzalo Ogas Lopez, a longtime resident of Thatcher, entered into eternal rest Wednesday morning, April 21, 2021, at his residence, with his beloved wife of 65 years, Maria, at his bedside. Gonzalo was 83.
My Grandfather was born in Gila, New Mexico on January 10, 1938. He was number nine of thirteenth children. His parents, Manuel Enrique Lopez and Carmen Ogas Lopez moved their family to Safford in 1945, when he was seven years old. He attended Safford Public Schools until the eleventh grade. He loved playing in sports. Boxing, Football, Baseball and Golfing were his Favorite. He would give lessons and practice with his sons and grandson to be pitchers. On Sundays, he would go golfing with his brother Steve.
He met his wife, Maria Elena Burrell when they were fifteen years old. They married in 1956 and remained together for over sixty-five years. They had nine children. He worked twenty-four years for the City of Safford. He held different positions, Greenskeeper at the Golf Course, a meter reader, Water and Wastewater in Water Utility Dept. He served six years in the National Guard. He held part-time jobs and did side jobs to support his growing family. He medically retired in his forties.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing with sons, relatives and friends. Other enjoyments were going on drives with family to the mountains to have picnics.
Grandpa was competitive when playing cards, board games. He loved telling jokes, and was very playful with his children, their friends and his grandchildren. He enjoyed listening to his Spanish music.
He grew white corn on two fields that bordered his home, and vegetable gardens with his children. He taught them the benefits of gardening.
Grandpa would go to spend time in the Chapel near the Safford Catholic Church 3-4 times a week while he could still drive himself there. He was seen by his children reading scriptures from the Bible. He gave us books of bible stories to pass along to his grandchildren. He did family bible book studies with Jehovah Witnesses for a few years.
He taught us as a family to be proud of who we are, and where we came from. He let us know that any mistakes we make are forgiven and that we stand by each other, because he would always stand by us. He always found a way to provide, emotional, spiritual, or financial support for any family member that needed it. He was punctual to appointments and expected everyone to be the same.
Over the years many good memories were made at our home with our immediate family and extended family. Dad considered us lucky growing up in Thatcher. He always liked to go outside to see us off whenever we came home for visits. In the last two months of his life he was unable to do this.
Gonzalo was preceded in death by: his parents, Manuel and Carmen Lopez; his eldest son, Raymond Lopez; his brothers, Pablo, Ignacio and Emilio Lopez; his sisters, Gregoria Campos, Crecelia Lopez and Natalia Palomino. Gonzalo is survived by: his sister, Teresa Tapia; brothers, Epimenio, Benito and Esteban Lopez; his wife, Maria Elena Burrell Lopez; daughters, Diane Lopez Bejarano (Greg), Irene Lopez Quinones (Hector), Gloria Lopez Potter (Lee) and Rebecca Lopez Marquez (David); his sons, Charles Burrell Lopez (Tammy), Freddie Manuel Lopez (Julie), Robert Lopez and Richard Lopez; twenty grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday morning, April 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at Vining Funeral Home's "Chapel of the Valley". Concluding services with military honors conferred by the Gila Valley Veterans Honor Guard will follow in the Thatcher Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Wednesday morning, April 28, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. until service time at 10:00 a.m., also at the funeral home.
Those who would like to attend the services via Facebook Live can join on Vining Funeral Home's Facebook page, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (MST).