November 1, 1923 – September 12, 2018
Michael Sanchez Lopez, a resident of Brentwood, CA, passed away in his home at the age of 94, on September 12, 2018. Michael was born in Pittsburg to Pedro and Isabel Lopez, on November 1, 1923. He graduated from Pittsburg High School in January 1943, and enlisted in the Army. He served in Germany and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant, in January 1946. He spent over 14 months of his three years in Europe. He was very proud to serve his Country, and often shared stories about his experiences.
After returning home, he worked for his uncle repairing cars. In 1951, he opened his own business, “Pittsburg Body Shop”. He closed the business and retired in 1987.
In 1986, he moved to Brentwood with his wife Lola. They were married for 65 years before she passed away in March 2015. He is survived by his two daughters, Gloria (Kevin) King, and Elizabeth (David), Bunetta. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Michelle and Laura Hawkins, Michael and Rachel Bunetta, Suzette Gonsalves, and Michael LaCosta. There are also seven great grandchildren, Christopher, Curtis, Sean Jr., Gracie, Sammy, Caleb, and Isabella, and one great great grandchild, Allison.
In his younger days, Michael, who was known as “Big Mike” and sometimes “Curly”, enjoyed hunting, fishing, tinkering with anything he could take apart and put back together in his own way, traveling, and socializing with his friends. He had a big personality and was well known and liked. He had a big heart and was generous to his friends. He was a member of the Veteran’s Club, the Elk’s Club, and the Armistice Club.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 4:00 PM, Rosary at 6:30 PM, at the Brentwood Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Friday, September 28, 2018, at 11:00 AM; Committal to follow.
- American Heart Association
- Cancer Foundation
- Veteran's Association
- Vigil Thursday, September 27, 2018
- Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 28, 2018
- Committal Service Friday, September 28, 2018
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Mike La Costa
November 3, 2018
I would like to share my thoughts on Mike Lopez my Grandfather when he past away besides the sadness of losing him I also remembered all the times he made me laugh he was funny it was a part of his personality , I lived with Him and my Grandma Lola briefly in my teen years and I had a appt with a lawyer due to a auto accident My grandma wanted him to go with me, he came out from working on his machines in a old dirty pair of overalls Grandma said your not going in that are you Mike said whats the matter all in need to do is put my tie on !!!!! Sure enough he went to the appt in his overalls but left the tie .
He taught me so much about cars that I am still doing the things I did when I lived with him working on motors taking things apart building things
One night some farm workers from the niehbors drove there car off the road into a ditch we went out with the tow truck in the middle of the night to pull them out he always did these things for people , if I could list all the times I had fun with in the shop working on something or bieng a part of what he had going on it would be a novel Grandpa you are greatly missed and I will always hold your memory in my heart and tell my kids Grandkids about you and the times we all had with you .
October 27, 2018
Grandpa, I will never forget you and the time we shared together. I will always remember the times we spent out in the shed fixing things and hanging out with you and all of your friends. I will miss you yelling at me for lighting things on fire and shooting everything I saw in the yard. You always knew how much I loved to drive and would always let me drive to the gas station down the street if I wanted to before I had a license. I will miss staying up late all the time and watchig tv all night with you. You were my hero and I am proud to be named after you. You helped shape me into the man I am today. We will see each other again one day, until then I will always hold my memories of you close.
October 15, 2018
My grandfather was the Father figure in my life as a young child all the way until his passing. My grandpa taught me to work hard in life for what I wanted and to be independent. He taught me the basic maintenance on a car and always told me that Free always comes with a catch, so it’s better to do things for myself. I believe that is why I am so headstrong today! I have been blessed to have grown up in a large family. My grandmother hosted so many parties at the house filled with laughter and live entertainment 😊 my grandpa was a character, between him and my mother Linda it was never dull at our family gatherings. The tougetherness is what I miss the most and thankful for all the memories that will live in my heart forever ❤️ I loved my grandparents dearly and a piece of my heart went with them. Until we all meet again 🌹
October 15, 2018
My Great Grandfather taught me - by example the meaning of hard work. He never stopped. He truly understood the honor of being able to live and breath, and made sure to do something about it. He was a man who truly valued and appreciated the experience of life. All throughout my childhood, my Great Grandfather had called me by the nickname “Klondike”. He never mentioned why as I was young, it wasn’t until I approached 25 years old when a friend secretly sent a photo album to all of my family for them to write about who I was as a child when I finally heard his reason for my nickname.
He said: “I’ve always called you Klondike because you are a man of great big dreams. People would travel all across the world for a chance at their dreams - in pursuit of the great gold rush. That gold rush was called Klondike.”
You see, my Great Grandfather knew me, and from a very young age he spoke that identity over me - helping me to find my way. He never once discouraged or snuffed out my dreams. Instead, he came up with a name for it - to seal them within my sense of identity. I would bet that he was doing things in all of our lives “under the radar” without us even knowing it. He was leaving his legacy. I will never forget my roots because of this great man. And I will continue to live out the great attributes that he has passed down to his family. God bless you, Grandpa!
October 14, 2018
For the past four years, I spent more and more time at your house with you and mom after she became ill. I wanted to take care of the two of you, as you two have always taken care of me. After she passed away, I continued to stay at your house as often as I could. For the past six months I was living with you more than my husband and kids, to help take care of you. I don't regret any of it and feel comfort in knowing I was there for you till the end. I miss you and mom tremendously, but take comfort in knowing you are together again. I will hold onto the memories and never forget where I came from.
With Love from your Daughter,
October 14, 2018
We heard many stories about your experiences during World War II. You were a very proud Veteran who enjoyed seeing other countries such as Germany and France during the war. You rarely talked about the bad things you witnessed. Gloria and I learned to drive in your World War II type jeep in the fields of our small ranch.
You always talked about the importance of a good education. You used to encourage me by giving me money for the A's and B's I received, or if I earned the honor roll. You were very proud of me when I graduated from college.
I remember calling you whenever my car would not start and you would tell me how to get it started over the phone. You also gave me advice of what to tell the mechanic if I had to take the car to the shop, so he wouldn't try to cheat me. You taught me how to speak up for myself and not to let anyone think they were better than me.
You were a fun loving and adventurous man. You loved to go deer hunting and fishing. You were a very social man who was well known and liked. You were often the "life of the party" in your social circle, and liked to joke around, making people laugh. You were very protective of your daughters. Rumor had it the all the boys in town were afraid of you.
When I moved away to college, I never forgot my family roots, and talked about you often. I returned home for the holidays and vacations. My first child and only son with my husband David, was named after you. He was very close to you and admired you even though he lived miles away. He believes he is a lot like you. He was very deeply saddened by your death.
(To be cont.)
October 14, 2018
I have so many memories of you over the past 62 years. Although we didn't always see "eye to eye", you were always there for me. Mom sometimes said I was as stubborn as you, when I was younger. You were a strong and proud man who was protective of his family, and liked to be his own boss.
When I was an infant/toddler, you called me "Itty Bitty", because I was so small. You taught us how to say "I love you more than the whole world", but I couldn't pronounce my RL's together, so I would say "Woro". I remember one night when we returned home, I pretended to be asleep in the car, so you would carry me into the house on your big shoulders. I remember when you used to lift us up in the air as we stood on the palms of your hands. I remember Gloria and I playing at your shop, "Pittsburg Body Shop." I have some memories of going to the snow and camping when we were younger. One time while we were sleeping, a bear came up to our camper truck, but then left. When we were a little older, I remember our trips to Lake Tahoe, and even Hawaii when my son Michael was almost two.
When I was seven or eight years old, we moved to a small ranch outside of Pittsburg city limits. You wanted that house and property since you were a little boy. We had chickens, rabbits, turkeys, pigs, dogs, cats, and cows. For my 10th birthday, you and mom gave me a calf. She became my pet as did all of the other animals. I remember you helping me with some of my school projects, especially in the 4th grade. You helped me make a model of a covered wagon and brought my calf to school for "show and tell." We had many dinners and gatherings at our house on the weekends with friends and family while growing up. We often were allowed to play card games with the adults during those gatherings.
(To be continued below)
October 12, 2018
Someday I know you will be waiting on the other side and I will see you again. I love you to the moon and back and I love you more than the whole wide world.
October 12, 2018
On September 15 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, however in a very bittersweet time I lost my grandfather the night before my induction. My grandfather was my everything, my hero, my best and my mentor. He taught me so much over the years, mostly about cars, how to change my oil, my brakes, my spark plugs, change the battery, change a flat tire and so much more. I spent most of my life with my grandparents by their sides, they were like parents to me I was lucky enough to have two sets of parents. They took care of me and in the later years I took care of them. I didn’t think I would ever loose them. We lost grandma3 years ago and I have been staying with my grandpa ever since. I knew the time would come I would have to say goodbye, I didn’t however think it would be now, I thought we had more time. He was excited about his upcoming great granddaughters entry into our world and laughed with me throughout my pregnancy. On the day before I went to the hospital to be induced I had spent time with him just the two of us and I told him I would be having baby Isabella and that I would be home in a few days with her to see him. He never got to meet her though, he passed that night rather quickly on September 12th and my heart broke and my world was forever changed. The next few days were very tough, such a sad thing had happened and such a miracle was about to take place such a bittersweet time. I know he was there he and mamma to watch her come into the world from up above together again. He often told me that he wanted to go be with mamma. He finally got what he so wanted. As much as we miss him and wanted him to stay longer with us, God needed him and it was his time to go be with mamma and his loved ones in heaven. I will never forget the times we shared together, going places and working on cars and all the family functions we had over the years. I will miss you dearly but I know you are now at peace and with the love of your life. To be continued