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Helen Lopez
Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home in Atchison, KS
Atchison, KS

Helen (Elena) Clara. Lopez, 104, died peacefully on August 15, 2019 surrounded by family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, August 23 at 11am at St. Joseph’s Church with Fr. Jeremy Heppler, OSB as celebrant.  Interment will follow in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery.  A parish rosary will be recited on Thursday, August 22nd at 6:30pm in the chapel of Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home with visitation to follow until 8:00 P.M.  Memorial contributions are suggested to the Mexican Nuns in Leavenworth or the Humane Society of Atchison and may be left in care of the Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home with whom arrangements have been entrusted.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.arensbergpruett.com.

Helen was born August 12, 1915 in Horton, Kansas to Julio and Martina (Morado) Vallejo, who emigrated from the state of Guanajuato, Mexico to the U.S. in 1913 fleeing the Mexican Revolution.   She grew up the oldest of thirteen children in a part of Horton that was called “Little Mexico,” an area that attracted many immigrants from Mexico where the families worked for the Rock Island Railroad.  Helen attended St. Leo’s Catholic School and worked in the Horton public library.  She married Henry Lopez, a railroader and Rockwell crane operator, on January 13, 1934 at St. Leo’s Church in Horton.  In 1936, they moved to Atchison where she worked for Maur Hill Prep School doing laundry at her home for the boarding students. Later, she worked as a clerk at Kresge’s Department Store and in housekeeping at Mt. St. Scholastica and Benedictine College.  She was a role model to others regarding her commitment to doing a job well.  At the age of 54, she got her first driver’s license and transported friends and family as needed. Later, she was active in taking care of her elderly mother-in-law.   After the passing of her husband in 2007, she lived with her daughter, Connie Kasl and in 2016, she lived with her granddaughter, Anne (George) Pruett of Atchison.  

She was a member of St. Joseph's Church where she participated in Perpetual Adoration and operated the jewelry table (Helen’s Gems) during the church bizarre; a member of Beta Sigma Phi; American War Mothers; Daughters of Isabella and Little Flowers Society.  She loved fresh flowers, singing, dancing & cooking. She was an avid sports fan and loved animals.  Helen was known for her strong faith, peacefulness, forgiveness, humor and most of all her unconditional love.

She is survived by: five sons, Charles (Margaret) Lopez, Topeka; Michael (Alice) Lopez, Tiffen, Iowa; Richard Lopez, Tonganoxie; Fred (Mary) Lopez, Hurst, Texas; Henry Lopez, Jr. (Martha), Emory, Texas; and one, daughter, Connie Kasl, Atchison, 36 Grandchildren; 79 Great grandchildren; 51 Great-great grandchildren (two more on the way) and 2 Great, great, great grandchildren; sisters, Florence Terronez, Lisle, Illinois; Benita Cacari, Rock Island, Illinois; Dorothy Luke and Linda (Bob) Patten, Orlando, Florida.  She was also an aunt to numerous nieces and nephews.


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