A Memorial Mass for Manuel will be held in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1100 Erie Street, Racine on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 12:00PM. Visitation will be in Church on Monday beginning at 11:00AM until the start of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Manuel’s name go to either St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or the Alzheimer’s Association.
With profound sadness, we bid farewell to Manuel. On 9/19/23, he laced them up one last time, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration, adventure, and an unwavering love that defined his remarkable life. When Manuel wasn’t out there lacing up his running shoes or chasing his passion for races, he devoted more than three decades of his life to serving the wonderful people of the City of Racine. He believed in the power of collective action and was a vocal and passionate supporter of his union.
Manuel loved running triathlons, marathons, and ultramarathons and approached each challenge with unbridled enthusiasm, a true connoisseur of the sport. His commitment to training and competing was only surpassed by his eagerness to share these adventures with friends. One of Manuel’s most cherished traditions was road trips with his closest friends in his trusty van. These journeys were full of laughter, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments. He had a unique gift for bringing out the best in everyone who had the privilege of accompanying him on these adventures. Manuel’s zest for life was infectious. In his later years, Manuel discovered a profound joy in running alongside his beloved grandkids, instilling his passion for life and fitness in them.
Manuel made adventures truly special with his beloved wife, Sharon. Every year, they would pack their bags and head out. Mexico trips were an all-time favorite. Their shared experiences were a testament to their love and a source of inspiration for all who knew them. His heart was filled with joy when his son, Casey, and daughter-in-law, Brea, joined the vacation crew, along with those precious grandkids. Grampa was always up for some friendly competition (ping-pong, pool, running, etc.), a beach nap, or riding horses up a mountain. He loved to bargain with the shopkeepers, always had fun, and usually left with a good deal.
Manuel loved spending time with his family, such as running with Casey, going to baseball events with his grandson Dallan, and gymnastics events with Joy, his granddaughter. One thing Manuel loved to do with his family was go out to eat and have ice cream for dessert. Manuel was a guiding light, even when faced with the complexities of a blended family. He took his two stepchildren, Ricky and Wendy, from his previous marriage and showed them unconditional love like his own.
Manuel, a true legend in our recovery community, passed away after a remarkable 51 years of sobriety. He actively participated in countless local recovery events, always ready to share his unwavering faith and deep love for God with anyone in need. But Manuel’s faith wasn’t confined to the rooms of recovery; he was a member of his church, where his dedication and commitment to his beliefs were evident to all who knew him. He saw his faith as a guiding light and a source of strength, which he freely shared with those around him. He touched the lives of countless individuals, guiding them on their own journeys to recovery. In his own unique way, Manuel taught us the power of perseverance and the importance of lending a helping hand to others. His spirit will forever inspire us to confront life’s challenges head-on, pursue our passions relentlessly, and hold dear the moments we share with our loved ones as we navigate life’s challenges and seek the path to a better tomorrow. Every memory will be cherished by those who knew and loved him.
Surviving are his loving wife, Sharon; son, Casey (Brea) Lopez; grandson, Dallan Lopez and granddaughter, Joy Lopez; brother, Fransisco Lopez; mother-in-law, Florence Straube; brother-in-law, Roberto Fuentes; sisters-in-law, Donna (Ed) Sandle, Judy Vliet, Janet (Paul) Carmody and Karen (Mike) Bolles; stepchildren, Richard and Wendy Janssen, and their mother, Yvonne (Jim) Ross; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Manuel was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Luz (nee: Malacara) Lopez; brother, Gregorio Lopez; and sister, Lorenza Fuentes; father-in-law, Leonard Straube.
A Memorial Mass for Manuel will be held in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1100 Erie Street, Racine on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 12:00PM. Visitation will be in Church on Monday beginning at 11:00AM until the start of Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Manuel’s name go to either St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or the Alzheimer’s Association. Sharon, Casey and family offer special thanks to Accent Hospice and the wonderful, caring caregivers at Parkview Gardens Memory Care.