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Funeraria del Angel Anaheim

2425 West Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA

OBITUARY

Leah Mae Lopez

May 3, 1978September 6, 2019
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Leah Mae Lopez, as my family called her I-a, was born May 3rd 1978. She was the youngest among 4 siblings. She was born and raised in a small town of Butuan City, Philippines till age 13 when my family migrated to the US. During her early years I remember Leah as Mama’s right hand. She was independent and assertive. She would walk to the store to buy groceries when I was even scared of crossing the streets, she was 7 years younger than me. She would go to peoples' houses to collect money from our small hand made book marker business. And Leah would always speak her mind, which got her in trouble with my Dad many times. As a Filipino family in the 80’s we were taught to stay quiet when our parents scolded us. But Leah, oh Leah, she had to open her mouth. So she would end up kneeling in front of the altar to ask God for forgiveness. My younger brother would be kneeling next to him but for another mischievous offend (that’s another story) “Hay, Leah…” that’s what my Dad would say.

In Butuan we lived across a Public High School. Our house was behind 2 sari sari stores (convenient store) owned by our relative “The Gacula’s” and a good family friend, the Tolentino’s. Most high schoolers knew little Leah. She was friendly, sociable and would not stop talking. Even the sales ladies, “the tinderas” were her friends. And she would get freebies, like candies and cookie, in exchange of her fascinating stories. She was happy kid.

When we came to the US, she was in middle school. School life was challenging for her, not academically, but emotionally. She told me many years later that she was bullied a lot. She was having difficulty relating to these kids. Kids were mean to her. My brother Banjo had to defend her many times. Around that time, we lost our Dad from lung cancer at the age of 54 and a few months later, my Uncle Pecto, from pancreatic cancer. It was a hard time for her, emotionally and mentally.

Years later she was showing signs of mental illness. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Life got even more challenging.

As an adult, my older brother Nelson and I were stern with her. We pushed her, ignoring her mental condition. We wanted her to be able to stand on her own, to be independent. “Who will take care of you, Leh, when Mama’s gone?”

We have seen her move from one room for rent to another. She was even homeless a few times. It was heartbreaking to see her that way. But she always got up and moved on. Inspite her illness, she was always so kind to her nieces, Kayla, Isai, Dacia, Sydney, and Venice. She was always giving, even when she had so little to give. She was still Mama’s right hand. She would take care of Mama’s needs. She was also Banjo’s eyes since he lost his vision.

It was even heart breaking when her mental and physical ailment prevented her from taking care of her children, Kaylee and Joseph. Thanks to James & Annie, and Eddie & Krista for embracing these children as their own. They gave Kaylee and Joseph a stable roof over their head and a loving family that can provide them a better life.

Leah was found unconscious on a street by Knotts Berry Farm. She was down for 20 minutes when paramedics came and resuscitated her. She was intubated and sedated when I came to visit. During that time I learned more and more about Leah’s life. A pastor from her church, Greg and his wife Penny, said wonderful stories about how Leah was loved by their church community. She continued to give. She was the first one at the church and the last one to leave. She inspired women during their retreat, even did sign language for them. Then I finally met Chad, the love of her life. He was telling me how Leah would always buy coffee for the homeless, especially during cold weather. It sounds like Leah found her haven through helping others in her community, especially the less fortunate.

Even on her last day in Earth the doctor surprised us with the news that she was an organ donor. Another selfless act. A gift that lasts even when she is gone.

I am so proud of Leah. She was living her purpose.

Leh, you have a good soul and a good heart. I will make sure that your story will live on.

I love you and may you rest in peace.

  • FAMILY

  • Consuelo Gacula Lopez, Mother

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, September 22, 2019

Memories

Leah Mae Lopez

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Mirasol Rosales

September 18, 2019

Mirasol Rosales

September 18, 2019

Mirasol Rosales

September 18, 2019

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Biography

Jesus said,

“I’m the resurrection
and the life;
he who believes in me
though he die,
yet shall he live,
and whoever lives
and believes in me
shall never die.”

John 11: 25,26