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Tinkler Funeral Chapel & Crematory

475 North Broadway, Fresno, CA

OBITUARY

Emilia A. Lopez

September 5, 1923July 26, 2019
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Emilia A. Lopez was born on September 5, 1923 and passed away on July 26, 2019.

  • FAMILY

  • Mary Sanchez, Daughter
  • John Sanchez, Son-in-law
  • Edward J. Lopez, Son
  • Peggy Lopez, Daughter-in-law
  • Frank Lopez, Son
  • Phino Lopez, Son
  • Leona Lopez, Daughter-in-law
  • Michelle Hearld, Daughter
  • Richard Lopez, Son
  • Marla Pattison, Daughter-in-law
  • Mrs. Lopez also leaves behind 16 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren to cherish her precious memory.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Ted Lopez
  • Christopher Sanchez
  • Stacy Sanchez
  • Brian Sanchez
  • Jonathon Sanchez
  • Brandon Lopez
  • Jason Simms
  • Jacob Lopez

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Recitation of the Rosary Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Rosary Service Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, August 2, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, August 2, 2019

Memories

Emilia A. Lopez

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Mariah Lopez

August 6, 2019

At Ted and Mariah Lopez’ wedding in 1998 ♥️

Mariah Lopez

August 6, 2019

At Ted and Mariah Lopez’ wedding in 1998 ♥️

Thank you for the love you infused into my husband. Rest peacefully Emily ♥️

April Lopez

July 30, 2019

My grandma was the sweetest lady I ever known I will miss her so much. I love you Grandma. Aka Emily lopez

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia A. Lopez

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia with her 1st husband, Fernando Garcia. Emilia's hand is lovingly placed on his shoulder in this picture and their daughter Mary is the taller of the 2 little girls in the middle of the picture in the white dress.

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia and Mary in the USA

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia and Mary

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia with work buddies from the laundry

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia A. Lopez

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia with her 1st husband, Fernando Garcia. Emilia's hand is lovingly placed on his shoulder in this picture and their daughter Mary is the taller of the 2 little girls in the middle of the picture in the white dress.

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia and Mary in the USA

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia and Mary

FROM THE FAMILY

Emilia with work buddies from the laundry

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed on their wedding day

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily and Ed on their wedding day

FROM THE FAMILY

Emily, Ed, Phino (head on Emily's lap) and Eddie

Biography

The Azores are nine vibrant, yet strikingly different islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores are a green, hilly, and flower-filled paradise. Flores Island, where Emilia was born, raised and 1st married, is the smallest of the islands and also the furthest from continental Portugal. Emilia Avelar was born on September 5th, 1923, just short of 96 years ago.  

Emilia’s father, Carlos Avelar, was born in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and had dual citizenship, in the United States of America (USA) and Portugal. Carlos earned his living as a fisherman in both the USA and Portugal. Emilia’s mother, Julia Vierra Avelar, died when Emilia was quite young, 14 years old. Emilia had two older brothers, Carlos and Joe, and one older sister, Candida (aka Candy). All her siblings migrated to the United States. However, Emilia stayed in the Azores and kept house for her father.

Emilia married Fernando Garcia when she was about 21 years old. Fernando managed operations at the power plant on Flores. Mary was born to Emilia and Fernando on July 26, 1949. Tragically, this new little family was fractured when Fernando died of cancer in 1958. Mary remembers her father dying at home when “comfort medicines” were not widely available on the island.

Not long after Fernando’s death Emilia, now a single mother made the decision to join her siblings in the USA. This was a little easier for her than for Mary because her father was an American citizen. Emilia traveled first to the USA leaving little Mary with her grandfather and great aunt before Mary was able to follow her to the USA. Both Emilia’s and Mary’s journeys to the US were memorable. The year was 1958, and Emilia’s flight was at night the entire way, aboard a propeller-driven plane across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA. Often times Emilia recalled the turbulent and loud flight to the USA and vowed to never step on another airplane again, which she held to throughout the remainder of her life. Little Mary’s flight came a few months later. Carrying one small suitcase, which she still has today. She was escorted on her journey to the USA by a stranger, a man, which can be frightening in its own right for a little girl. Add to this the fact that her flight had to return to the Azores after takeoff due to an engine fire. The brave little girl got right back on a plane the next day to continue to the USA. These events undoubtedly helped to form the strong woman that Mary is today. Imagine the joyous mother and daughter reunion these two must have had on USA soil in San Francisco.

Emilia stayed with family once in the USA. However, never overstaying and Mary remembers moving around quite a bit. Emily, as she became known in America, supported herself and Mary by caring for the elderly from her homeland. Emily and Candy were able to celebrate their homeland once with a mandolin performance for a California senator. An audio recording of this performance is said to be saved in the national archives.

Eventually, they came to stay with Emily’s aunt in Fresno. Emily’s aunt had a walnut tree in her yard and frequently shared the tree’s abundance with neighbors. As the wheels of fate continued to turn, Emily’s aunt invited her neighbor and friends to stop by and gather walnuts. This chance nutty encounter brought Edward Lopez, Sr., and Emily together. Even though Emily spoke very little English, the universal language of love spoke to Edward.

Edward was previously married and shared five children with his 1st wife. Edward had custody of Edward Jr. and Phino, while Pam, Frank, and Michelle stayed primarily with their mother but visited regularly. Emily and Edward married on August 24, 1963, and became a blended family before the term was ever coined. Initially, they lived at the home of Edward’s mother which was on several acres outside the city limits of Fresno. Imagine the challenges of attempting to become a harmonious blended family with a new step-mom that spoke very little English now helping to raise two rambunctious and independent American boys. You couldn’t write a better reality show script…could you? Although Edward Jr. does not recall any disruption in his life when at 9 years old, his dad married Emily. He just remembers catching “polliwogs and swimming in the canals just like before.”

Fast forward to 1965 and much to Edward and Emily’s surprise Richard was born and the family was complete. A “Yours, Mine and Ours” situation where everyone was loved and everyone worked and all were blessed. Through the efforts of this loving woman along with her husband they hosted many family dinners and holidays, took many trips, bought a new home, built a vacation home in North Fork, California and enjoyed a lifetime of memories with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great, great-grandchildren.

Mom, you will always be in our hearts, with love from the your “real” blended family.