Obituary for Lee Lopez
Albert Lee Lopez was born January 18, 1939, in Eagle Butte, SD, to Luvisa (Pelter) Lopez and Albert Lopez. Lee, age 80, longtime Meadow, SD, area rancher, was the youngest of four children, after Carl, Annabelle, and Effie. Lee’s mom, “Grandma Vice” was the girls’ dorm counselor and cook at the Eagle Butte boarding school, and his Dad worked nearby for the Diamond A Cattle Company. With the help of his Aunt Alice, Lee graduated the eighth grade in Branson, Colorado. Later, in 1963, he was drafted into the Army, and attended basic training in California. When Lee returned home, he jumped in as cowboy for his father—starting the first of many of “Cow Camps” along the Grand River. Lee became very familiar with the chow line on the Grand. He knew just who would have a hot meal waiting for him when he dismounted his horse at the end of each day.
In 1970, Lee married Elizabeth “Tottie” Morris Strongheart and adopted her six children, Ted, Lisa, Luke, Dave, Noelle, and Matt. Lee and Tottie had three children together, John, Joe, and Anne. One thing that Lee took a lot of pride in was the many good horses that he raised. He was honored in 2018 by the AQHA for 50 years of breeding and registering quarter horses. Lee loved to drive out and see his mares and their new foals. He was also a true cattleman and loved to cowboy a good herd of longhorns.
Lee also held his friends and neighbors in the highest regard, as these were the people who shared his world. He lived for early morning coffee with the cowboys—a ritual before hitting a lope, heading for the back corners of the pasture. We all can still hear him say, “Always leave the corral on a high lope and check every corner. Don’t ever do anything halfway, and always leave it better than you found it.” That’s what his dad taught him, and that’s what he taught all of us. Lee passed away on Monday, January 13, 2020 at the Five Counties Nursing Home in Lemmon, SD.
He is survived by: six sons, Ted Lopez of Bullhead, SD, Luke (Dianna) Lopez of Mobridge, SD, Dave Lopez of McIntosh, SD, Matt Lopez of Meadow, SD, Joe (Tera) Lopez of Wessington Springs, SD, and John Lopez of Lemmon, SD; three daughters, Lisa (Stuart) Schmidt of Keldron, SD, Noelle (Randy) Benson of Morristown, SD, and Anne (Brice) Roghair of Isabel, SD; one sister, Annabelle (Sam) Mortenson of Little Eagle, SD, brother-in-law Geno Hunt, Eagle Butte, SD, sister-in-law, Lucille Kaiser Reid, Bemidji, MN; 23 grandchildren, Teddy Strongheart, Tottie Hotchkiss, Chuck Schmidt, Kaitlyn Duncan, Whitney Olson, Rowdy Benson, Savanna, Maria, Kate, and Rope Roghair, and a whole slew of Lopez’s—Sarah, Sophia, Tristan, Jessica, Alexis, Joseph, Evan, Ruthie, Cheri, Elijah, Trusty, Daniel, and Quest; as well as 19 great- grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. January 18th is Lee’s birthday….Happy Birthday Dad, we love you!
Lee was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Carl Kaiser and one sister, Effie Hunt.
A family service will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the New Hope Worship Center in Lemmon, SD.
Funeral services for Lee Lopez, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the New Hope Worship Center in Lemmon, SD. Pastor Jess Harkins will officiate with burial to be at a later date in the Timber Lake Cemetery. Military Honors will be afforded by the Brattvet-Green American Legion Post #66.