NewsLocal News


'We want to make it memorable': Loved ones raise funds to remember man found dead in Garfield County

 Loved ones raise funds to remember man found deceased in Garfield Co
Posted at 8:28 PM, Sep 06, 2022

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado family is seeking closure and community support as they prepare to lay their loved one to rest.

"He was a great man. He was the type of person that even if he didn't have it, he would make it happen to give to somebody that needed it more," Azriella Decker said of her great uncle, Filmer "Fibie" Lopez.

Colorado was Lopez's pride and joy and all he'd ever known, Decker explained.

"He was born in Boulder, but he was raised between Longmont and Lafayette areas. Those were kind of his main stomping grounds," she said.

An assisted living facility in southwest Colorado would be Lopez's last home. The 69-year-old had been a widower for many years.

Lopez's remains were found on Aug. 30, nearly three weeks after he had walked away from his assisted living facility in Garfield County to shop at a nearby gas station.

An autopsy ruled Lopez's death as "natural," but Garfield County Coroner Robert M. Glassmire wrote he believed Lopez had a medical issue when he died.

Filmer Lopez

Despite details reported in alerts first issued after Lopez's disappearance, family members told Denver7 that Lopez didn't have dementia.

"I don't want him to be remembered as the person who had dementia and took off walking," Decker said. "He was very coherent. The people who spent the last bit of time with him know that he was actually doing really well."

Decker said she and her family are now focused on planning a funeral and spreading the word about who Lopez "really was."

"He loved being outside, fishing and his morning coffee... he always knew how to make everybody in the room laugh," she said. "He was found sitting under a tree, and I like to think that he knew it was his time to go and his time to rest. That's the way that I like to look at it to give myself a little bit of peace."

The great niece and other family members have started a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses.

"It's been something that's been very, very stressful on all of us," Decker said through tears. "If we don't make enough money on the GoFundMe, we're not going to be able to do funeral services, or at least what we're trying to do for him.

"He was such a great guy, and words couldn't explain how much of an amazing man he was... we just we want to make it memorable and we want the people he would have wanted to be there be there."