Rebecca and Manuel Lopez, III were wed June 27, 1964 at the First Baptist Church in San Angelo.
The couple moved to Fort Worth to begin their new life and careers shortly after. Manuel and Rebecca quickly adapted as Manuel went to work for General Dynamics while Rebecca, a licensed vocational nurse, worked at Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital.
The couple achieved major milestones – from purchasing the first of many homes to creating their family. Their first child, Manuel IV, known as Mel, was born in May 1969, followed by their daughter, Patricia, born in July 1970 and eventually their youngest child, Jason, came along in July 1978.
As the family expanded, so did the home. Manuel and Rebecca have always wanted the best for their children and worked very hard to make that happen. In the early summer of 1979, the couple moved from Fort Worth to Azle, where they still reside.
Prior to 1979, Manuel’s side jobs had increased and went from his garage to his welding shop. Thirty years later, M3 Welding is still open in Fort Worth and operated by family. Manuel continued to work through the layoffs at General Dynamics at his shop while Rebecca began working for Four Seasons Nursing Home, from where she eventually retired.
Manuel’s commitment to Fort Worth and the community has been recognized several times over the years.
Several mayoral proclamations have declared an official Manuel Lopez III Day in Tarrant County, in honor of his commitment and involvement with different projects through the city and the schools. Those commitments added to his responsibilities with work and family, but with Rebecca always by his side, they managed to make it work.
The Lopezes now have two granddaughters, Elizabeth Montez and Clara Grace Gatley, and a son-in-law, Brian Gatley.
This year Manuel and Rebecca celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss. Patricia was quoted as saying, “I think it’s really cute that my parents still flirt after all these years. The love they have for each other radiates and inspires hope and love.”
The Lopez’ children are now grown and they feel truly blessed to have Manuel and Rebecca as parents and wanted to show them how much by sharing this occasion with family and special friends.
To celebrate the auspicious occasion, their children have arranged for their parents to go to Italy in the fall as well as a night filled with family, special friends, food, and dancing at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Azle Community Center, 404 Main St.
This celebration promises to be a night full of memories to add to a long special list they already have.