Catarino (Lino) Reyes Lopez III
Catarino “Lino” Reyes Lopez III, beloved husband, father, grandfather, Christ follower, flutist, and friend to all left this world on December 1, 2022.
Lino is survived by his loving wife, Cathy Ozebek Lopez; children, Tony Lopez, Victoria Whitley (Caleb), and Velvet Lopez; grandsons Colby Whitley, Dexter Whitley, and Beckett Whitley; sisters Irma Navarro, Lupe de la Cruz, and Hilda Vasquez (Fred) and brother Pablo Lopez (Alma); as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Catarino H Lopez Jr., his mother Beatrice Reyes Lopez, and his sister Margie Rios.
Born July 10, 1955 in Del Rio, Texas to Catarino H and Beatrice (Reyes) Lopez, Lino was diagnosed with polio at six months old. After being evaluated by medical institutions and spending time in an iron lung, his mom took him home and began cultivating his resilient spirit.
At age ten his father bought him a thirty-dollar flute to begin playing in the band program at school. By high school, music was the major focal point in his life, and helped him build a strong network of friends. He was an All-State Band member, and acquired many honors and awards in the process, including Student Council President, president of other campus organizations, voted “Most Likely to Succeed”, and “Outstanding Teenager of America” selection. He graduated from Del Rio High School in 1973.
His musical success led to a full music scholarship at East Texas State University. In school, Lino excelled in music and continued to make friends wherever he went. He met an academic, organized, and sweet girl named Cathy, who helped him pass music theory (finally!). Each semester the music faculty selected him as a participant in the “Outstanding Performer’s Recital.” His awards and accomplishments were many, culminating in an offer to study with Julius Baker, of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, at the prestigious Julliard School of the Arts. Upon graduation in 1978, Lino set off with his new wife Cathy to New York City to study at Julliard and get his big break; however, the financial strain of trying to live in New York took its toll and they were forced to move back to Texas. Completely dejected and with mounting debt, Lino was forced to sell his flute. He began searching for something, anything that would give his life meaning.
In 1980, Lino heard the Gospel for the first time. His brother-in-law Keith had been inviting him to church, but Lino always had an excuse. Once the excuses ran dry, he began attending First Baptist Church Euless, where the message began to sink in, and his heart began to change. He came to Christ in May 1980 and his love of people grew to include a mission for pointing people to Christ through his story.
With Cathy’s support, Lino went back to school and graduated from Southwestern Theological Seminary with a Masters of Religious Education in 1987. He befriended many seminary students as they each made their way into the world to preach, sing, and use their talents for Christ. During this time, Lino worked in different capacities,
including teaching ESL as a public school teacher and providing private flute lessons.
In 1989, Lino, along with Cathy and their two children, Tony and Victoria, hit the road to minister to churches across the United States as a full-time music evangelist and concert musician. After five years of full-time ministry, the family settled in Euless and welcomed a third child, Velvet, into the fold. Lino continued to be involved in church orchestras and appeared in many church events as a featured soloist. He continued to teach ESL until he was forced to retire due to a post-polio diagnosis. In 2011, he began his last, GREATEST job ever as a full-time “Manny” to his three grandsons, Colby, Dexter, and Beckett.
Even in retirement, Lino continued to connect people and build community. Affectionately named the Mayor of Clinton Street, he brought together neighbors along his street and patrolled the neighborhood on his scooter, often with a toddler in tow.
His family will remember him most during sporting events. He loved sports and cheered even if he didn’t have a team playing in the game. From high school football to the world cup, he was always ready with a watch party to celebrate. We are thankful for one last Thanksgiving Day football game with our Pops.
In a world full of independence and isolation, recently made worse by a global pandemic, Lino was a collector of friends and builder of community. He cherished each one and made sure to keep connections open and active. He was a catalyst for building friendships for himself, but also for others. He loved people, and they loved him.
A celebration of Lino’s life will be held at 12:00 PM, Saturday, December 10, 2022 at First Baptist Church of the Fields in Carrollton, Texas. Visitation will take place before the service beginning at 10:30 AM, with a come and go reception at the Lopez house to follow from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers and in memory of our beloved Lino, who lost his life to colon cancer, the Lopez family encourages you to get a screening colonoscopy. Cancer may not be preventable, but if caught in the early stages it is highly treatable and curable.
It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Thank you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you. Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad. Love, The Gillilands
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He was greatly loved and admired, he left a true mark on every life he touched. I pray for you as you go forward. I hope you know you are greatly loved as well.
Lino has always been a precious gift from God. He blessed us so much at First Euless. He used his talent for the Lord and during the last few years, he brought Glory to his Heavenly Father, now he is face to face with him. Thank you for sharing Lino with us Lord.
My sincere condolences to the family on the passing of our dear classmate and friend. Lino was a huge personality dressed in kindness, determination, and was extremely gifted and talented. Lino knew no stranger for he could make friends so easily. He will be remembered and missed for the countless memories we had with him through the years in high school and our university days.
Lino found ways to continue to bring us together after years of not seeing each other.
We are left with fond memories and a heart broken with sadness for he will be missed dearly. I know he is in a better place doing his best to make it even better than it is.
To the family, our prayers are with you for comfort and peace. Thank you for loving our dear friend and making his life beautifully complete and happy.
Amador and Alma Jimenez-Guerrero