Landscapes 15

Nicanor Zavala Lopez

February 9, 1935 ~ April 19, 2020 (age 85)




Nick was born in New Gulf, Texas, the 7 th of 8 children. He grew up in Galveston and moved to Spokane when he was 14. After the heat and humidity of the South, he always called Spokane, “God’s Country,” and enjoyed all 4 seasons and the sports that went with them. From the time he got his first real job at age 9 delivering groceries with  a wagon for the little grocery store down the block, he has been working hard and making friends. He left us on Sunday, which seemed right as he always started out each day with prayer and the bible. In fact, his bible got so much use that the cover fell apart and he had it recovered in 2019. He was so kind and happy and always made crazy jokes about whatever situation he was in at the time. Sometimes you didn’t understand them, but you would laugh because he was having such a good time. He worked at Sacred Heart Medical Center for 40 years, the last 18 yrs. as the supervisor of the Special Procedures area where the first heart catheterization in Spokane was done. He watched as that area of medicine grew to include several types of visualization of the vessels of the heart, the brain, and the body, and produce not just knowledge, but treatment, as in the placement of stents to relieve blockages. He met the love of his life, his future wife, Patty, at Sacred Heart where she was a student nurse and they married the day before her graduation in 1963. They had three boys Matthew, Mitchell, and Brian. When they were old enough, he got 3 lawn jobs, one for each boy, and worked with them after school showing them by example how to do a great job. After Brian died at 18 in a fall in 1987, a sweet little girl from St. Anne’s Children’s Home came to live with them 1993. She had his heart from the first day. He was a member of the Air National Guard for 10 years and worked on the Mount Spokane Ski Patrol on Thursday nights for 18 years, enjoying not only the skiing but working on the Ski Swap yearly and gearing up for the winter fun. He was also a member of St. Peter Catholic Church, helping out whenever he could. Working alone, he physically installed a sprinkler system for the school’s playground when Fr. Michael Savelesky was pastor. After he retired from the hospital in 1998, he worked for District 81 as a float, as a teacher’s assistant for 10 years, the last 2 yrs. working with violent and difficult teens. They loved him and wrote him poems and notes, calling him their friend. He was generous to anyone who had a need, be it a fellow staff member, an employee or a request for a donation. His passions were his family and working on improving Brian’s Pond, a two acre park in front of the family home. He continued to enjoy life and love people and work hard until the very end. He leaves his wife Patty and son Mitch and Tricia at home and son Matt, Matt’s wife, Ela, and grandchildren Marina and Marcus Lopez of Spokane. He was preceded in death by his parents Ishmael and Carmen, his son Brian, his brothers Ishmael and Mordecai and sister, Ester. Although the days ahead will be challenging, we are so grateful for the life and love of a man who planted seeds that will bear fruit for generations to come. There will be no visitation or funeral service at this time. As soon as the gathering of a large crowd is permitted, there will be a memorial celebration to honor his life at Brian’s Pond for all his family and friends.


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Services are to be announced

Hennessey Funeral Home - Division
2203 North Division St
Spokane, WA 99207

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