JoAnne (Oliver) Lopez

JoAnne (Oliver) Lopez
Windsor, CO

Where and what I’ve been doing since graduation … yikes! I’m all over the place. I’ve been married to my husband Lupe Lopez for 35+ years. We have a son, Anthony (Diesel Mechanic & National Guard Reservist) who is married to Amy (my favorite daughter-inlaw) and they have 2 sons, Zac (22 years old in Air Force and currently stationed in Japan) and Dominic (10 years old, 5th grade this year). I have a wonderful stepdaughter, Nicole (3rd grade teacher) who is married to Ray (my favorite son-in-law) and they have 3 daughters, Elianna (24 years old hair stylist, curly hair specialist), Yolanda (23 years old who is an insurance claims resolution agent) and Mary Alice (20 years old college student, wants to be pilot). We have one grandson-in-law (Xander) and one steady grandson-in-law (Matt). Luckily no great grandchildren yet … don’t think the kids are ready for that yet.

My prior work experience varied from typist, clerical, secretary, administrative assistant to specialist with four companies. I spent 16 years at Hach Company leaving as Credit/Collections Specialist which took me from Iowa to Colorado where I still reside. I also worked 25 years for Colorado State Univ and Front Range Community College (State of Colorado) as Financial Aid Advisor/Specialist.

In between working and playing softball, I did manage to get my Associates Degree (Aims CC) and then my Bachelor’s Business Administration (University of Northern Colorado). Forgot one interesting tidbit, while getting my education I was married and raising a family, active in Boy Scouts and sports for Anthony plus volunteer projects. Like many others I realized when I retired, I’m not sure how I managed to do everything before. Silly girl!

We’ve been retired since 2012 and 2013 … and have managed to keep busy with projects at home and for family. We have a garden each year as well as many flower beds, honestly, they are to be my project but my husband is always helping so I say ‘we’. I’ve don’t usually can any veggies but have made Jalapeno Jelly a couple of times and salsa on a regular basis. I still sew and made all the dresses for my daughter-in-law for their wedding … and to this day always say I know what I’d do different next time. Don’t we all. I tell my family that
sewing relaxes me which my husband can’t understand … we have made Christmas gifts a couple of years and he opted to make an apron, hot pads and mittens for our daughter-in-law. Needless to say, he thinks it is very stressful but still wants to occasionally make something for somebody special and then beats himself up but we enjoy laughing with him.

During COVID-19 I made over 800 masks that were given to family, friends and my stepdaughter’s class (25 students x 5 masks each). I also volunteered before COVID in her 3rd grade classroom and school, in which I’d make copies for teachers, organized and cataloged over 1,000 books for Enrichment/Research Center and worked with her ESL students helping them get their reading, writing, and math up to third grade level. I’d do this two some weeks three times…the kidos are fun. I enjoy their hugs each year. I’m well known at the school as Gma Jo.

In the recent years, we have started traveling more and enjoy taking 2 or 3 day trips. My ancestry crossed the Oregon/California Trails three times in covered wagons so we have been taking short trips to visit different sights and stops that they made over 150 years ago. This as well as trips back to the Midwest to visit family, trips to Hawaii and visit to England to visit Zac. Plus we have our bucket list.

Interesting tidbits:
Yes, I still have my mother & brother in Iowa … my 92-year-old mother test my peace-making skills frequently but I enjoy having her around. Just not the 3 times we have moved in the last four years. Most recently in May … ugh! My older brother, Ralph (Class of 69) still lives in Cambridge but we lost my younger brother, Larry in 2016.

My fond memories of high school …
– Prom for the 1969 class, Roaring ’20 theme … borrowing rocks from Hwy 210 & Hwy 69 interchange, making the silver ball and all the fun decorating the gym.
– Speech competitions … “Horton has a Who” plus all the bus rides around the state.
– Being so sick at graduation (nerves) and wanting to walk for my diploma
– Being one of the first pomp pomp girls with the band, cold nights and not too warm of outfits, band trips to Pella.
– Friends and classmates … whether old or new; present or old … high school memories will always be around to look back at and remember the days gone by. Oh, what fun we had and no, I don’t want to re-live those years.

JoAnne Oliver Lopez