Thelma Lopez, 91, of Denver, passed away August 2, 2019, with her family by her side. She was born to parents Nellie and Sam Nelson August 16, 1927 in Los Angeles, California. Thelma was married to Manuel Lopez I and is survived by her sons Manuel Lopez II, Alan Lopez, Steve Lopez, Loren Lopez, Robert “Bobby” Lopez, and Michael Lopez. Other surviving family members include grandsons Manuel Lopez III, Andrew Garcia, Brian Lopez, Adam Lopez, Robert Lopez Jr., Michael Lopez Jr., John Lopez, Thomas Lopez, Alessio Lopez and Nikolas Lopez. Granddaughters include Maria Lopez, Michelle McDaniel, Benita DeLuna, Bianca Gonzalez, Nieve Lopez, and Felina Lopez Gallegos who along with her husband Oscar, cared for Thelma since 2010 through time of passing. She is also survived by 19 great grandchildren. Thelma was predeceased by her loving husband in 1993, her sons Philip Lopez, Brian Lopez and Paul Lopez and daughters Beverly Sparks and Teresa Lopez. All of whom she loved deeply.
After having 11 children, she went on to the University of Colorado and received a BA in Psychology in 1974, graduating in the same class as her eldest son, Manuel Lopez II. She attended the University of Northern Colorado where she received her MA in Psychology in 1975. She continued her education at UNC and was nearly done with her Doctorate degree in Psychology but did not complete it for fear she would be overqualified for her job at the St. Anthony’s North inpatient psychiatric unit.
Thelma worked at and retired from the St. Anthony’s North psychiatric unit where she was an in-patient psych counselor. Thelma had many “helpers” in life, when child labor was legal or at least that’s what she made it seem. She was an accomplished seamstress, making costumes for Ballet Arts’ performances where some of her grandchildren attended ballet classes and clothes for her grandchildren. The famous saying was don’t move and that was after your got poked with needles when being fitted. One year for Halloween her grandson Robert Jr. wore a purple pant suit and dressed up as the joker when he was 5 years old; I believe he won all the costume contests that year. She never lost her love of flowers and gardening. Thelma was immensely proud of her educational achievements and graduations from CU and UNC. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Thelma during her 91 plus years: stop and smell the roses, never let the chickens out of your neighbor’s yard, most definitely never put sand in a sandwich as a main ingredient, and last but not least her universal way of communicating via her version of sign language...the bird was meant for flying not flipping grandma, which she never learned. All who loved her will never forget her wit, charm, grace, tenacity for life and love she had for them.