Riverhead native Michael C. Lopez died March 18 at the age of 49.
He was born in Riverhead Dec. 11, 1962, to Primitivo and Eloise Lopez. He was educated in local schools and joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17. He served for five years, working as a cook, an airplane refueler and eventually a supply sergeant and traveling to many parts of the world.
After his military service, he was a driver for Swift Trucking and Covenant Transport of Chattanooga, Tenn. He later worked for Western Express until he was diagnosed with leukemia.
Relatives said he loved his family with a passion, especially his nephews and nieces. Although he had no children of his own, they said, he helped to raise four children, teaching them to ride a two-wheeler and use power tools.
Family members described Mr. Lopez as a “humble and polite gentleman” and said that “a wonderful smile will come to our hearts and minds whenever we think of him.”
Predeceased by his father, Mr. Lopez is survived by his mother and his siblings, Eduin, Jose, Wayne, Victor and Wanda.
Services were held March 23 at Galilee Church of God in Christ in Riverhead, Dr. Roy Pennon Sr. officiating. Interment was at Calverton National Cemetery. Seay Memorial Chapel in Riverhead handled arrangements.