Tony Benjamin Lopez, loving husband, caring father of two six-year-old daughters and the heart of his community, passed away in his home in Nampa, Idaho on May 25, 2021. He was 36.
Tony and his family fought a long, arduous battle against cancer with the same determination he used to accomplish his goals in life. Tony is remembered by his loved ones as a man of steel: strong in his actions and magnetic in his personality. He was a humble and honest man in a superhero’s body.
“Tony was my favorite person,” said his wife, Shannon Lopez. “He was relentlessly optimistic. When others would take shortcuts, Tony put in the hard work to be the kind, gentle and totally indestructible man that our daughters remember him as.”
Tony was born on April 11, 1985 in Ogden, Utah to Paula Martinez. They moved to Idaho soon after Tony’s birth along with his older brother, Jose Lopez, and lived with his grandparents, Maria and Prudencio Lopez. Growing up, Tony and his grandfather were inseparable and spent many days picking worms to sell at the local bait shop (often with Tony wearing his favorite cowboy hat and boots). Jose remembers when the seeds of Tony’s lifelong infatuation with superheros took root.
“He wouldn’t do anything until he watched the latest Batman,” said Jose. “He never missed an episode.”
From an early age, Tony had a knack for bringing people together. He spent much of his childhood hanging out with his closest friends, Miguel and Adam. In high school, Tony took on breakdancing as the first of a long series of athletic interests that would come to shape his values and his career. After graduating, Tony expanded his horizons by moving to Washington and strengthened his athleticism by joining a close-knit team of fitness gurus working at a local 24 Hour Fitness. Tony ate, breathed and slept fitness with his friends in Washington, where he discovered his passion for helping others achieve their goals through coaching and personal training.
Tony honed his discipline and his strength and took things to the next level: MMA wrestling, bodybuilding, Strongman competitions and CrossFit. During this transition from ‘casual weightlifter and front desk employee at 24 Hour Fitness’ to ‘looks like his arms are registered as lethal weapons’, Tony moved back to Idaho to help his Mom take care of their family.
By the time Tony met Shannon a couple years later, he had carved himself out of wood. Naturally, Shannon was impressed when she signed up for a gym membership and was given a free session with the absolute stud personal trainer working there named Tony. By the third session (Shannon, of course, bought more sessions), Tony admitted to already being completely in love. After the first date, Tony and Shannon never went a single day without speaking to each other for the entirety of their relationship. They married June 30, 2012, on a beautiful summer day in Caldwell, ID, surrounded by loved ones. Tony’s physical prowess continued to improve throughout their marriage, but Shannon softened his insides into the gooey marshmallow of a guy he needed to be to raise two daughters.
Tony’s pride and joy were his little girls, Sophia and Poppy. Despite his achievements in the fitness world, he never hesitated to proudly claim the title of ‘Dad’ as his greatest accomplishment. Sparked by memories of wrestling with their father and each other in the living room, his daughters have inherited Tony’s passions through their love of Jiu Jitsu.
Tony was the Dad that every father should aspire to be. He was the man of steel carefully tying ponytails and fitting little legs into ballet tights. He was the world’s strongest person, yet too weak to resist buying too many stuffed animals (otherwise known as ‘Stuffies’). He was the kind of father who’s superhero status in the eyes of his daughters will never fade, because he was exactly who they believe him to be.
“He would get them a new Stuffy every time we left town,” Shannon said with false dismay. “He was the best Dad there ever was.”
He is preceded in death by grandparents, Prudencio Lopez and Maria V Lopez; mother, Paula Lopez; uncles, Jose G Lopez and Fidel Barbosa; and cousin Norman (Mu) Dick Jr.
He is survived by wife, Shannon Lopez; daughters, Sophia and Poppy Lopez; brother Jose (wife, Anna) Lopez; sisters, Carla, Luzero, Lauren and Sylvia; aunts, Irene (husband, Jose) Rodriguez, Julie (husband, Norman) Dick, Maria (husband, Fidel) Barbosa, and San Juana (Janie) Lopez; and several cousins.
Tony’s service will be held on June 11 at 2 p.m. at Canyon Hill Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life at The Indian Creek Plaza in Caldwell, ID. Friends and family members are invited to join in honoring Tony’s life.
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