Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez Lopez, 88, passed away on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Santa Maria surrounded by family.
Born in Glendale, Calif., Lupe moved to Zacatecas, Mexico, at age 3, where he was raised until he returned to California at 16 to family in Pacoima.
Lupe and the love of his life, Alice “Licha,” moved their family of five to Santa Maria in 1962. They met when Lupe was 16 and married two years later after a date at the malt shop chaperoned by her friend.
A self-made man and entrepreneur, he was the first Mexican-American engineer in California and owned two successful construction companies (42 years). He had construction projects throughout California. He was a property developer and investor always looking for his next venture, and he constantly stressed the importance of education. He was known to have Dodgers games on all the TVs and radios in the house. Lupe was a retired U.S. Army veteran. He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge and Operating Engineers.
Lupe’s love for family was profound and he and Licha traveled the world, though he always enjoyed going to casinos closer to home. Lupe is survived by his wife of 69½ years and his children, Ernest (Rose Ann), James (Karen), Yolanda Novoa (George), Cynthia Monroe (Richard) and Lisa Reynoso (Frank Jr). He leaves behind nine grandchildren — James, Priscilla, Jon, Paul, Monique, Olivia, Jennifer, Chrystal, Frank Jr. II — and seven great-grandchildren. Lupe was preceded in death by his son Arthur Lopez in 1988.
He touched many lives and will be missed by his family and community.
A viewing and Rosary service for Lupe were held Tuesday, July 8 at Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary. A funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 9 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Burial will follow the Mass in the Santa Maria Cemetery.
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