Lotte Zeller Lopez
Lotte Zeller Lopez moved on to her next grand adventure as 2020 drew to a close. She was born in 1933 in Stuttgart, Germany, to Franz and Elsa Zeller, and experienced war time there as a child, which shaped her lifelong interest in politics and social justice. She always enjoyed a spirited debate about current events.
In Lotte’s teen years, her mother despaired of her lack of interest in anything “suitable” for a young woman, such as sewing, embroidery and cooking. Her parents reluctantly sent her to business school, where she found her life’s calling and became a top-notch secretary whose typing and dictation-taking speeds were unmatched.
While working at the U.S. Army base in Stuttgart in the 1950s, she met a dashing soldier, Louis Mario Lopez, who loved to travel. Together, these two adventurous spirits explored Europe – and decided to make it a lifetime journey. They were married in 1956, when his tour of duty brought him back to Washington, DC. Their daughter, Carmen, was born in 1957. After another posting to Germany, he retired from the military and in 1965 they moved to Palm Bay, Florida. Lotte first worked at various local banks and eventually went to work for Harris Corporation until she retired.
While Lotte would not be one to hand out health advice, she would say that every good day requires a strong cup of coffee in the morning, a pickle with lunch, and a piece of dark chocolate in the evening.
She is now reunited with her husband, who passed in 1997, and they are no doubt enjoying a cocktail and dancing to Glenn Miller. (Though her personal favorites were Elvis and Roy Orbison, and, in recent years, the occasional Lady Gaga tune.)
Above all else, Lotte had an incredibly kind, caring and generous spirit and was fiercely loyal to those she loved. She also had a wonderful sense of humor and delighted in the beauty and mystery of the world around her. She is missed beyond words by her daughter and son-in-law, Carmen and Bill Bright, and her memory is cherished by her extended Lopez/Rivera family and the Bright family. She is also fondly remembered by Carmen’s “besties,” who considered her a “bonus mom.”
There will be a celebration of Lotte’s amazing life as soon as it is safe for us to gather. In the meantime, we can be sure that she is living the inspiring words of the poet Mary Oliver: “I want to think again of dangerous and noble things…I want to be light and frolicsome…I want to be improbably beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”