Carol Lopez bid Aloha to her family on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 after a brave and long hard fought battle with diabetes. She was 82 years old. Carol was born in the town of Paia on the island of Maui, Hawaii to the late parents of Damaso Clemente and Emily Kahaule Clemente on December 24th, 1931. She grew up in Honolulu on the island of Oahu and graduated from McKinley High School. During her youth she was often found swimming, diving and surfing at Waikiki Beach, as well as hiking the trails up to Diamond Head. She learned to surf from the legendary surfer “Rabbit” whom she tandem surfed. She was proud to be a Hawaiian and was considered by her family to truly embody what defines an island girl. To fully understand Carol’s contagious spirit, one only needs to hear how she and Al met 63+ years ago. It was at a Honolulu social club dance where Al first spotted Carol across the dance floor doing what she loved…dancing. She and her partner were known to be outstanding dance competition partners and had won several contests. When he approached her to ask if she could teach him how to dance, she responded, “I don’t teach, I just dance!” ~ In 1951 Alfonso Lopez, Jr. and Carol Clemente tied the knot and immediately started their family of six children, three daughters and three sons; all while her husband served in the Army and Air Force. This military family traveled and lived in places as far away as the Philippines, Washington State, California, Texas and Florida. However, whenever possible the family would always return to Hawaii to be near their extended families.
When the family moved to Las Vegas in the late 60’s, Carol was one of the first employees to work at the then International Hotel, later known as the Hilton in Las Vegas. She quickly moved up the ranks to become the Assistant Director of Housekeeping. Although she continued to work hard for many years at various jobs after retiring from the Hilton, she was always known to have that special Aloha spirit and never hesitated to express her hospitality through her love of cooking popular Hawaiian dishes for her ever growing family, and on special occasions demonstrated the art of hula dancing with her daughters alongside. She made every effort to remind her children and grandchildren of their Hawaiian heritage and yearned until her final days to return to her beloved Hawaii.
She is survived by her husband Alfonso, her six children, Cynthia Eichler, Elwood Lopez, Marlene Arevalo, Gina Mackelprang, Darrell Lopez, and Darren Lopez; eleven grandchildren; twenty-five great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and her brother Damaso Clemente, Jr.
The memory of our beautiful island girl will live on in our hearts, minds and souls forevermore.
Funeral services are to be held on April 5th, 2013 at the La Paloma Funeral Home located at 5450 Stephanie St. in Las Vegas, Nevada; followed by a private graveside burial. The family requests that any kind gesture of a donation in memory of Carol Clemente Lopez are to be forwarded to the American Diabetes Association.