Jose “Joe” Lopes

Jose “Joe” Lopes

Joe was always in motion. Most days he got his 10,000 steps in before daybreak, strolling around Locke Ave Park. Early to bed, early to rise, he had seen more sunrises than just about anyone. Family was always his first priority, but he was also there for his community: 1976 found him being Man of the Year in Roselle Park for his work constructing ball fields for the neighborhood kids. And if his neighbors needed a hand he’d come running to the rescue, shovel in hand. He worked in construction where they often sought solutions from Joe rather than the architects and engineers: they offered knowledge from the university, his came from the school of hard knocks. It was a type of learning that never stopped. A work ethic second to none, everything perfectly straight, everything perfectly level. That aesthetic carried over to his personal life: even in his eighties he took on the epic task of dismantling his patio to make sure all the hardscape was just right. When he moved to Woolwich he created a garden. Actually, it was more like a small farm: well thought out and perfectly tended with rows that were laser straight. Any of his remaining property featured an array of fruit trees: figs, apple, cherry, pears. Of course, his real calling was as a grandfather. Grandpa Joe was always there for anything they needed; supporting them in all their activities and also supplying endless amounts of fruit and vegetables from his garden. Relaxing times found him doing a little pheasant hunting, his German Short Haired Pointers by his side and regaling stories from his youth: Joe remembered everything in vivid detail. He loved soccer (Portugal, Benfica, Tottenham), old cowboy movies and the occasional cat nap.
A young Joe met a pretty girl named Candida at the yearly Portuguese picnic. They’d spend some time exchanging letters before embarking on a 59-year marriage blessed by many laughs, shared core values and 4 children, Jay (Mary Ann), Rick (Suzanne), Suzanne (Don) Beaucage, and Cindy (Blake) MacMinn; and later by twelve grandchildren, Kristen, Samantha, Matthew, Mary Ann, Emilia, Lena, Angela, Liliana, Kyle, Sabrina, Aidan and Julia and one great-grandson, Raymond. He is survived by his siblings, Albano (Margarida), Emilia (the late Faustino) Costa and Olinda (Celio) Leitao and many cherished cousins and friends.
Come celebrate 82 great years Friday 10 to Noon at Daley Life Celebration Studio, 1518 Kings Highway Swedesboro where there will be a noon service. Interment Lake Park Cemetery, Woolwich. In lieu of flowers donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( will be appreciated.


  1. Joseph F Costa says:

    I am so profoundly sorry for your loss. The realization that someone so close and vital in your lives is no longer there to provide the love, support and companionship that certainly was always accepted with deep gratitude. That gratitude will continue to be expressed through all the memories that were created with everyone who knew Joe Lopes.

    Tio Ze, as I’ve always known him, and the memories I enjoy are largely from my childhood and younger adult years. Those memories were, and still are, important as they provided a clear demonstration of what love, patience, responsibility, self-care, sacrifice for others and appreciation for life are all about. These are memories that will be forever present in my mind and heart.

    This isn’t a “goodbye” Tio Ze, but a “see you later” as we are each destined to be reunited at some point in time. May your journey be filled with peace and laughter.

  2. The Barbara's says:

    Not sure what to say. We met the Lopes family back in 2001 and became instant friends. Then we met Rick’s parents – what a joy to be around. So warm and friendly. As I got to know Joe, I always told Rick he’s stronger than you and never stops working. You could tell Joe always enjoyed doing something around the house or was always willing to help people. I can only say that it is with loving memories of your father that will help you find peace. We will be thinking of you and wishing you strength and comfort. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sorrowful time. You have our deepest condolences for the loss of such a wonderful person.

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