LOPEZ, RITA 1923 - 2014 Rita Lopez passed away on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11, 2014 at Gentiva Hospice in Albuquerque following a short illness. She would have been 91 next week. Rita was born in Belen, New Mexico, on May 18, 1923, to the late Antimo and Concepcin Hidalgo Ulibarri. At a very young age her family including her younger sister Paulette, moved to Torrington, Wyoming, where she graduated from Torrington High in 1941. She met her husband-to-be, Manuel Lopez right after WWII, as he was fulfilling a promise to his mother, Aurelia Lopez, to stop on his way home to visit her close friend, Concepcin Ulibarri. They fell in love and were married in Torrington shortly thereafter. Manuel started a business in Belen; Rita was a practicing beautician for a short while until she decided to stay home to raise her children. Once the children were grown, and Manuel retired from his business, Rita and Manuel moved to Grants where they remained until returning to their home in Adelino in the late 70's. Manuel grew chile and alfalfa on their two acre parcel, until his death in 1989. Rita was well known for her great sewing and baking skills, winning blue ribbons for her cookies at the State Fair. Rita eventually moved to Albuquerque to be near her two daughters. She lived at Encino Terrace until going into the hospital in late April, followed by a brief stay at Gentiva Hospice, where she remained until her passing on Sunday. Rita is survived by her three children, Concepcin "Concha" Lopez-Cherry and husband, Ned Cherry; Clarence Lopez and wife, Nancy Blackney-Lopez and Carleen Lopez; as well as grandchildren, Gabriel Harrington and Cristina Lopez-Cherry and Ethan and Estevan Blackney-Lopez; great-grandchildren, Hazel Mae Korce and Summer Corbin-Lopez; as well as numerous loving nieces and nephews, who remember her fondly for her kind and generous spirit. Rita is also survived by her sister, Paulette Lopez; sisters-in-law, Emilia Baca, Sessy Lopez, Onecima Duran; and brother-in-law, Tane Lopez. All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, beginning with a Viewing on Friday, May 16th at 8:30 a.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 9:30 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. with Father Stephen Schultz presiding. Interment will take place at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on Monday, May 19th at 9:00 a.m. Per Rita's wishes, Pallbearers will be Gabriel Harrington, Cristina Lopez-Cherry, Ethan Blackney-Lopez, Estevan Blackney-Lopez, Pearl Aune and Frank Johnson. Honorary Pallbearers will be Cynthia Bailey, Judith "Jude" Edwards, Debbie Lopez, Gloria Miers, Dolores Peralta and Elizabeth Olguin. The Lopez family would like to express their appreciation for the excellent care that Rita received over the past week from the Gentiva doctors, nurses and techs. We are also grateful for Rita's faithful caretakers, Margaret Morrison and Lorie Armijo. Sign Rita's online tribute at www.romerofuneralhomenm.com Romero Funeral Home, 609 N. Main Street, Belen, NM.
Published on: Thu May 15, 2014