February 24, 1917 – June 11, 2019
Mrs. Sarah Vasquez Lopez passed into eternal life on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at the age of 102 after a brief respiratory illness. She died peacefully in the home of her beloved parents, Felix and Federica Vasquez, who preceded her in death. Sarah was born on February 24, 1917 in the small town of Silvis, Illinois, the second youngest of five children. Her parents migrated to the United States from Guanajuato, Mexico in the early 1900s and her father worked as a laborer for the Union Pacific Railroad. As a young child, Sarah moved with her family to Riverside, the agricultural capital of Southern California in the 1920s. Riverside was her home for her entire life. As a young girl, she accompanied her parents and older sisters to work in the fields, traveling to the Central Valley, Temecula, and Arizona. Sarah was 19 singing as a soloist in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine choir when she caught the eye of Antonio (Tony) A. Lopez. On August 13, 1939 the two were married at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and Sarah would spend the next 78 years happily married to the love of her life until he passed away on March 8, 2018. Sarah was a loving and supportive wife and mother who was selflessly devoted to her husband and children. Sarah provided a warm and caring home for her family where she and Tony raised six children: Theresa (Arnold) Waldschmitt of Grand Terrace, California; Lt Col (Ret.) Anthony A. Lopez Jr. (Esperanza) of Riverside; Ramona Braaten (+Le Roy) of Arlington, Washington; David Eugene Lopez (Callie) of Bakersfield, California; Msgr. Gerard M. Lopez of Riverside; and a daughter, Patricia Yvonne, who died in 1957 at almost 5 months old. She was very active at her many Roman Catholic parishes and schools, especially Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Francis de Sales, all located in Riverside. Sarah was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and served in its many ministries, including the Parish Blood Pressure Ministry, La Gran Fiesta Ranchera, and the Parish Vocations Committee. Sarah was also President of the Altar Society, which was committed to the care and cleaning of the Sanctuary, sacristy, altar linens, and vestments of the Church. She was also graciously devoted to serving as a Lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Minister to the Sick. Sarah also served her Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino through her ministry with the San Bernardino Fatima Blue Army and by supporting Tony in the Knights of Columbus. In recognition for her outstanding service to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Sarah was awarded the Our Lady of Guadalupe Medal from the Most Rev. Gerald R. Barnes, Bishop of San Bernardino, and was also bestowed with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI for her exceptional service and dedication to the Church. Sarah was blessed with twelve grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren, and six great great grandchildren, for whom she tirelessly prayed with great devotion. An avid devotee of the rosary, it was not uncommon for Sarah to bestow one of her countless rosaries to her grandchildren to encourage them to pray. Nana's love and generosity will be cherished by each of them. Sarah's long and devoted Catholic Life and legacy will be observed by the following services: Vigil/Rosary on Monday, July 1st at 7:00pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Riverside with Viewing from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and the Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, July 2nd at 10:00am at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Riverside, with the Most Rev. Gerald R. Barnes presiding. Final interment will be at Green Acres Memorial Park in Bloomington after the Mass. In lieu of flowers, please send any gifts to the Diocese of San Bernardino, 1201 East Highland Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92404, Attn: Seminary Endowment Fund.
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine- Riverside
2858 9th St.
10:00 am - 11:00 am
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
4268 Lime Street
Green Acres Memorial Park
11715 Cedar Avenue
IN THE CARE OF