Eli A. ‘Lee’ Lopez

Arboles native Eli A. Lopez, died Thursday, March 14, 2013, in Las Vegas. He was 81.

Known as “Lee,” he was born to Margarito and Theodorita Lopez on May 28, 1931, on the family ranch in Arboles, where he grew up. He was one of nine children.

In 1953, Mr. Lopez enlisted in the Army and served three years. Upon discharge, he worked in road construction around the Southwest.

While working in the Flagstaff, Ariz., area, he met Lupe Cruz. They married in 1956 in Flagstaff.

The young family moved to Las Vegas in 1961. Mr. Lopez worked with the Operating Engineers Union Local 12 until his retirement in 1982. He also operated his own road construction business in Las Vegas from 1976 to 1982.

Mr. Lopez spent his retirement years commuting between his homes in Las Vegas and Arboles.

His family said, “He enjoyed his work and projects on his ranch. Because of poor health in his later years, he enjoyed the views from his screened-in porch in Arboles.”

Mr. Lopez was preceded in death by his son Bill Lopez.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lupe Lopez, of Las Vegas; children Eli Lopez of Arboles and John Lopez and Gloria Lopez, both of Las Vegas; siblings Elisida Enriquez of Durango, Pete Lopez of Arboles and Manuel “Rudy” Lopez of Anchorage, Alaska; seven grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. today, March 20, 2013, at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Las Vegas. Visitation will be held locally from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 23, 2013, at St. Peter-St. Rosa Catholic Church in Arboles. Burial will take place after the visitation at 12:30 p.m. at Rosa Cemetery in Arboles.