Averil Gleason

It’s not often you meet someone so positive, so genuine, and so happy to be alive.

It’s even rarer to find someone like that in a place of work.

But that’s what Clarence Lopez was.

A light at The Herald that shone brighter than the ones hanging from the ceiling.

CeLo passed away last week.

COVID.

The news was unbearable to hear.

Shocking.

Unbelievable.

How could it be that Clarence is gone?

He was the best part of my afternoons. Coming in to work with a smile on his face and a joke or comment about my latest column.

Clarence wasn’t just like that with me, though.

He touched everyone at the office.

So when we heard he had been admitted to the hospital for the coronavirus, everyone stopped what they were doing to say a little prayer for our little light in the newsroom.

Clarence’s time on this earth was not wasted. At least from how I knew him.

Since learning the devastating news Friday morning, I’ve had a harder time coming into work.

It’s heartbreaking knowing that Clarence won’t ever be around again to discuss my mom’s old Chevy or compare blood sugars (he was type 2 diabetic, I, type 1).

I’m not sure how to process this loss.

I will mourn, but I will not be wallowing. I will remember his life with a smile. Clarence was the epitome of enthusiasm. The grin on his face shone even through his light blue mask.

CeLo, you will be missed. Every day.

Visitation will be held on March 2 at 5 p.m. at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home, 12800 Westheimer Road, Houston. The graveside service will be held on March 3 at 11 a.m. at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Road, where you can pay your respects to Clarence.

Contact Averil Gleason at agleason@fbherald.com.

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