Pat Lopez, a former equipment technician for the athletics and kinesiology and health promotion departments who worked with legendary coaches John Scolinos, Darlene May and Roman Gabriel, has died. He was 82.
Lopez, a Korean War veteran, worked at Cal Poly Pomona from 1984 to 1999.
Volleyball coach Rosie Wegrich recalled working with Lopez in the early 1990s when budget cuts reduced the equipment technician staff.
“Pat worked to make everything seem normal and worked hard to accommodate my needs for the volleyball program,” Wegrich says. “Pat made the environment for a new coach feel inclusive. Although I only had the pleasure of working with him for about two years, he made me feel comfortable asking for any equipment for KHP classes and intercollegiate equipment.”
Delorise DeRaleigh, a former athletic department secretary, says Lopez made people feel good.
“Anyone who knew him came away feeling that he cared for others,” DeRaleigh says.
Professor Emeritus Stanley Bassin, who taught in the kinesiology and health promotion department when Lopez was at the university, described Lopez as dedicated and thoughtful with a “wicked sense of humor.”
“I can remember Pat as a wonderful, lighthearted and kind man who was more than willing to do any task that I requested,” Bassin says. “He was also a very smart guy and gave me really good advice. He really cared for the students and gymnasium property and treated them magnificently.”
Lopez was a family man who loved blues music and the 1955 Chevy pickup truck and 1957 Ford Fairlane he displayed at events and parade. He worked as a barber for more than 50 years in Charter Oak and at Marcelino’s barbershop in San Dimas.
Carol Vera, his cousin-in-law and an administrative assistant in Cal Poly Pomona’s geological sciences department, says Lopez and her husband were raised together and were like brothers.
“Pat was one of the first relatives of my husband I met,” she says. “I could tell then he was a character bigger than life. I think every family has a ‘Pat Lopez’ among them. He really loved his time at Cal Poly Pomona. Every time I saw him, he would ask, ‘What’s the latest at CPP?’ ”
Lopez is survived by his wife of more than 55 years, Priscilla; four children, including former Cal Poly Pomona facilities employee Anthony Lopez; eight grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
A rosary service will be held Sunday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at White Funeral Home, 404 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa. Services will be held Monday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at St. Louise De Marillac, 1728 E. Covina Blvd., Covina. Burial services are scheduled at 12:30 p.m. at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd.