Eileen Lopez lived a fulfilled life


Eileen Lopez (1967-2023)

Eileen M (Vande Voorde) Lopez was born on December 20, 1967, in Kewanee, IL to Eugene and Marilyn (Fesler) Vande Voorde. She was an active participant in the Annawan, IL community and excelled in her education during her time at Annawan High School, where she graduated in 1986. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign in 1990.

In fulfilling her dream to see more of the world, Eileen moved to Chicago, IL after college and worked at Merrill Lynch as an associate financial consultant. During these years she met Hipolito (Lito) Lopez, and the two of them embarked on the journey of a young couple starting their lives together in the city. They married on September 23, 1995, in Sacred Heart Church in Annawan, IL. They lived in Chicago for a few more years after, where they had their daughter Hannah, in 1999. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Rockford, IL.  They had their son, Jake in 2002, and settled down as a family in Roscoe, IL.

While raising her children, Eileen dedicated three years to the local YMCA working in member services and personal training. Her love of nature led her to spend as much time as she could outside, tending to her garden and going on walks around town with friends or family.

Eileen was very artistic and created beautiful jewelry and DIY decor. She shared her creative talents through her business - "Happily Hand Crafted by Eileen Lopez."

She was enthusiastic about volunteering her time in the Illinois State Dental Society’s Dental Mission of Mercy where free dental care was given to patients in need. She was also an avid horseback rider and spent almost every day at the barn with her horse Herbie, which she so dearly loved.

Eileen passed away on July 29, 2023, after a courageous 16-year battle with breast cancer.

Eileen is survived by her husband Lito Lopez, Roscoe, IL; her children and legacies Hannah Lopez, Chicago, IL; and Jake Lopez, Chicago, IL; father Eugene Vande Voorde, Annawan, IL; siblings Diane Vande Voorde (Randy Atkins), Fairmont, IN; Beth (Michael) Keim, Port Byron, IL; Jeff Vande Voorde, Chadwick, IL; and Tony (Lori) Vande Voorde, Kewanee, IL in addition to aunts, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, many cousins, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces. 

Eileen was preceded in death by her mother Marilyn (Fesler) Vande Voorde, and niece Emily Vande Voorde.

Eileen touched the hearts of many and will forever be remembered as a beautiful loving wife, mother, daughter, niece, aunt, and friend. She had an infectious smile and she always brought joy to those she was with. Despite the adversity she faced with cancer, she never let it stop her from living her life to its fullest. She always said her biggest accomplishment was being a mother and did so gracefully, dedicating every moment to loving and supporting her children into the young adults they are today.

The family would like to thank the oncologists and nurses at UW-Health Swedish American Regional Cancer Center in Rockford, IL whose genuine care during the second and third diagnoses will never be forgotten. They’d also like to thank the doctors and nurses at UW-Health Swedish-American Hospital in Rockford, who provided her a comfortable and peaceful environment to spend her final moments with her.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 18, 2023 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Geneseo, IL. Father Daniel Gifford will officiate. The service will be livestreamed on Vandemore Funeral Home and Crematorium Facebook page.

A time of fellowship with the family will follow the memorial service and inurnment. Visitation will be from 5 -7 p.m. at the Vandemore Funeral Home and Crematorium – Geneseo Chapel, 580 E Ogden Ave, Geneseo, IL 61254.

In honoring her wishes, a portion of Eileen’s ashes will be laid to rest in Annawan, IL, with her ancestors. The remainder of her ashes will be used in planting a tree in her memory at the family farm.

Memorials may be directed to the Eileen Lopez Memorial Fund.

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