Henry Joseph Lopez Jr., 67, of Vincennes, died at his home on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
Hank, as he was known to family and friends, was born on March 24, 1955, in East Chicago, the son of Henry ‘Hank,’ aka ‘Babe’ and Norma (Gonzalez) Lopez. He met his wife, Jill Johanningsmeier, of Vincennes, at Indiana State University in 1975. They were married at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Vincennes in 1977 and have since resided in Vincennes.
Hank retired from Vincennes University in 2018 after nearly 35 years of service in the Admissions Office as a residence hall director. He was a member of St. John’s UCC.
Hank loved being with his grandkids. Whether it was coaching Derek on the baseball field, watching Katie cheer at VU, or spending early mornings to ready Owen, Reid, Elyse, and Elliott for school, he would do anything for them.
Hank was an avid baseball fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago White Sox, and he coached at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels throughout the area. His love of baseball led him to coach (and win sectional titles) at all the four Knox County high schools — North Knox (1977-1979), Lincoln (1984-1989), South Knox (2003-2006) and Rivet (2008- 2016). He was an assistant coach at Vincennes University from 1990-2002, working under skipper Jerry Blemker. He rejoined the Trailblazers as an assistant to Coach Chris Barney after a successful tenure at Rivet with Coach Bill Beard that included two state championship runner-up seasons. Hank served as head coach of the American Legion Post 73 (1997-2002) team and the Cub League. If there were a baseball game in the area, you would probably find Hank there. The pride he had in coaching his players fostered relationships that continued long after the last out. In more than four decades of coaching, Hank touched countless lives through his eagerness to share his knowledge of the game, his dedication to his players, his ready smile and his sense of humor. His dedication and loyalty to his job, to the game of baseball, and to his family was demonstrated as he always showed up early.
Hank is survived by his wife, Jill; son, Henry Lopez III and his wife, Trisha, of Mount Vernon; daughter, Amy Schotter and her husband, Adam, of Vincennes; son, Rodney Lopez, of Vincennes; and grandchildren, Derek and Katelyn Foncannon and Owen, Reid, Elyse, and Elliott Schotter; brother, Jeff Lopez and wife, Katie, of Bloomington, Illinois; sister, Gina Vasquez and her husband, Joe, of East Chicago; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Hank was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be held from 3-8 pm on Friday at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 606 N. Fifth St., Vincennes, and from 10-11 am on Saturday.
Funeral services will be at 11 am Saturday at St. John’s UCC with burial at Memorial Park Cemetery. Pastor Dennis Freshness-Morre will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, Hank’s family asks that friends honor his love and commitment to Knox County baseball by making memorial contributions to area programs at Vincennes Lincoln, Rivet, South Knox, North Knox or Vincennes University.
Goodwin-Sievers Funeral Home is honored to be entrusted with the care of Henry “Hank” Lopez, Jr.
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