Bruce Lopez, 69, of Phoenix Arizona, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones on October 30, 2021.
Bruce Lopez was born August 29 1952 to Salvador C. Lopez and Betty Lopez in Fresno, California. His passion for Music was a thread all throughout his life. After attending St Joachim’s School in Madera, Bruce went onto San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, where he became a member of the Marching Band and Drum Major his Senior Year. During his High School years, he was a member of the Jr. Guadalupana Church Group based out of St. Joachim’s Church from Madera, where he met and dated Sallyann for the first time.
After graduating from SJM in 1970, Bruce went on to continue his education at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. During College, Bruce reconnected with some of his High School band mates and was one of the original members of Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs. Bruce was the original bass player, and together, they performed regularly in the Bay Area, touring to many college towns throughout the US and even going as far as Canada and Guatemala. The group opened for many notable acts such as: Doobie Brothers, Boz Skaggs, Chuck Berry, Huey Lewis and the News, Ike and Tina Turner, Tower of Power and the list that goes on and on. After years in the fast life and late night performance circuit, he decided to go back to school and earned his music degree from the College of Marin.
In 1979 Bruce moved on to his next musical adventure, playing with the newly formed Trio Willis, Lopez and Fitting. He continued his love of music and opened for well known acts such like Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddly, and Etta James, just to name a few. He eventually moved to Phoenix, and started working for Phoenix Motor Company. It was while playing in the orchestra for North Phoenix Baptist Church that he met his first wife, Beth Bennett. They had two sons, Salvador Bennett Lopez and Christian Joseph Lopez. Bruce was extremely proud of them, and absolutely loved spending time with them and playing golf and music together.
Bruce kept up his bass chops as he became the “house” bass player for the Rhythm Room where Bruce backed legendary blues artists, Chico Chism, Willie Dixon, and so many more.
In 1995, Bruce graduated from Golf and Hospitality Management School, and promptly got a job at Kokopeli Golf Course. Eventually, he found his way to Stone Creek Golf Club, where he happily worked for over 20 years. He enjoyed being the face that greeted all the golfers coming in, and developing relationships with them. At times he proudly assisted in instructing the young kids participating in JR. golf. He was the go to guy of the Stone Creek Golf Club.
One fateful afternoon in January of 2005, Bruce received a phone call from a familiar voice, it was Sallyann giving her condolences on the passing of his mother. They decided to get together and catch up, they went out a few more times and they fell in love all over again. As the two families joined together on July 23, 2005, Bruce became a Dad to 6 more, and an instant “Papa” to a handful of grandkids with many more to follow.
Bruce enjoyed worshiping with his God-given gift by serving on 2 church worship teams, Desert Springs Bible church where he would serve on occasion, and Resurrection Lutheran Church Praise Band where you would find Bruce most Sundays, sometimes even at both services.
As people got to know Bruce, they got to know some of his biggest passions in Music and in mentoring youth. A dear friend encouraged Bruce to volunteer alongside him at Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center. This commitment filled up a huge spot in Bruce’s heart so much so that he opened his home for lessons to accommodate some of his students. He was at The Rock every Tuesday and Wednesday for 4 hours each day, with a smile on his face the whole time. He took a lot of pride in his students and the growth he would see in each of them. He was invited to help at many of The Rock’s fundraising events, where he chauffeured, played golf with and even got to perform with numerous celebrities including Alice himself. Bruce left a lasting impression on his students as well as staff.
Bruce was preceded in death by his father Salvador C. Lopez, his mother Betty Lopez, brother Gary Lopez, in laws Gilbert and Carmen Marquez, and his granddaughter Saryn Milam. He is survived by his wife Sallyann Lopez, eldest son Salvador B. Lopez of Scottsdale, AZ, youngest son Christian Joseph Lopez of Tucson, AZ, Stepchildren Jermey and Megan Milam of Fulton, MO, Jason and Lois Milam of Phoenix, AZ, Jillian Milam of Palamar, CA, Joshua Milam of Madera, CA, Joy and Michael Campbell of Madera, CA, Ashley Neal Milam of Madera, CA and 14 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest to please consider making a donation to any of the following, in Bruce’s honor to help his passions continue to elevate the world.
+Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center
+The Praise Band at Resurrection Lutheran Church
*click giving, giving online and then choose the box for
Bruce Lopez Memorials to Worship
+Stone Creek Golf Course. Please mail funds to
4435 E Paradise Village Pkwy S, Phoenix, AZ85023
Please Join us in Celebrating Bruce's Life
On Friday December 10, 2021 @ 11am
At The Vineyard Restaurant
605 S I st
Madera, CA 93638