RIO GRANDE CITY - LEONEL "LEO" J. LOPEZ JR., 54, DIED ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2020 AT HIS HOME IN RIO GRANDE CITY, TX. SANCHEZ FUNERAL HOME OF RIO GRANDE CITY WILL BE IN CHARGE OF HIS FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS.
On a somber day in 1997, Leo Lopez Jr. sat in conversation with his sons at their home in Rio Grande City, Texas. "Mom is sick, and I'm going to take her to the doctor."
Leo's wife Leticia had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Leo began making arrangements to transport her to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where she would receive treatment.
For over the next two decades Leo would commit himself to secure necessary medical care for his wife, and to raise his boys. On his frequent departures to Houston with Leticia, he'd often tell his children, "This is only temporary, we'll be home soon".
Leo confronted life's challenges fearlessly, with grit and persistence. He worked many different jobs in his lifetime: a roasted corn salesman, a fireman, and a garbage man. He later became an entrepreneur and a public servant.
To his closest friends and family, he was gregarious, generous, and loving. To his political rivals, ruthless and unrelenting. Leo died at home at age 54 on November 14th, 2020.
He was born in McAllen, Texas to Leonel (Nene) and Adriana Lopez. His father Nene built fences and ultimately made a career in telecommunications. At age 11, Leo began working with his father performing electrical work, and building fences in Rio Grande City. Together, they started a telecommunications company. His mother Adriana, worked in parental involvement for children with special needs in Weslaco, Texas before retiring to work in the home to raise her children.
Leo graduated from Weslaco high school in 1985, and married Leticia Oliveira in 1986. His most fond memories were attending his sons' little league baseball games, and traveling with his wife.
At the turn of the millennium, Leo became active in public service. He served on the Economic Development Corporation Board for Rio Grande City, served a term on the Board of the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District, and nearly a decade as Rio Grande City's municipal judge.
Leo was hospitalized and diagnosed with stage IV gastric cancer in late October 2020. On calls home to family while in the hospital, he shared a familiar message, "This is only temporary, I'll be home soon". His wife Leticia died on November 8th, 2020.
Leo is survived by his sons: Leo, Luis, and Lisandro. His parents Nene and Adriana, his sister Yvonne Trevino, his brother Fred Lopez, and two grandchildren Lisandro Jr. and Nylah Leticia.
All Funeral Services are under the direction of Sanchez Funeral Home of Rio Grande City, TX.