OBITUARY: William “Bill” Henry Lopez, 76

Below is an obituary from Goundrey Dewhirst Funeral Home and Cremation Service:

SALEM, NH — Early Monday morning August 9, 2021, we lost an amazing human being. William “Bill” Henry Lopez passed away surrounded by his loved ones. Bill was a lifelong Catholic.

Bill was a hardworking, selfless person, who helped numerous people through the 76 years he spent on this earth. Losing both of his parents prior to becoming a teenager, and being raised by his older siblings, he learned to cherish each day. He maintained a positive outlook right to the end, never complaining. He would always say “I’m a firefighter, I can take it”. 

Bill was proud to be a Wilmington, MA firefighter and member of Local 1370 for 18 years. In those years of helping countless people on the job, and off the job, he helped even more. Once on vacation, he saw a young boy choking and turning blue. Without hesitation, he ran over and performed the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging a fry. Then he returned to his table like nothing happened.

In 1981 Bill was honored by the people of Wilmington being chosen as Wilmington’s “Good Guy”, an annual award given to a citizen who selflessly makes a great impact on the community.

While he raised his two children he also worked a second job to provide his family the things he didn’t have growing up. Bill always ran the MDA boot drives and auctions in Wilmington and Tewksbury in the Fall and collected toys for Toys For Tots at Christmas. Aside from those he found time to build his home, coach his son’s baseball teams and go to all the hockey practices and games. 

Bill was married to Irene Herrin. They were married for over 20 years and remained friends after their separation. Later in life, Bill found his soulmate Janine, to whom he’s been happily married for 21 years. He also gained three new children who were treated like his own and who they called Dad.

Bill was so happy when his son, Matt, was hired by the Salem, NH Fire Department. The guys all treated him with respect when he would stop in for a cup of coffee, even when Matt wasn’t working.

He served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 6 years prior to joining the Wilmington Fire Dept.  In his retired years, he worked alongside his son, Matt. Those were the times they both appreciated the most. When Bill’s health started to catch up to him, he spent the final few years at Aroura Senior Living in Derry, NH. He became good friends with the Brothers of Derry Fire, who transported him several times over the years.  He was always grateful for their treatment and compassion. Also, the nurses and doctors at Parkland Medical Center.

Bill is survived by his wife Janine Lopez of Salem, Matthew and Lori Lopez of Deerfield, NH, Lee Ann and John Scannell of Meredith, NH, Chantelle Pagan of Nashua, NH, Jeff and Suzanne Hirsch of Meredith, CT, Joe Willis and several grandchildren. Also Sister Gerry Aronson of Sudbury, Michael and Betty Lopez of law.

Bill was preceded by his parents Margret Galvin and Anthony A. Lopez, Sr., Sister Rose Lopez OCD and brothers Anthony A. Lopez, Jr., Joseph E. Lopez.

He was born in Cambridge, MA and lived in Wilmington for 22 years.  

Calling hours were held from 5 – 8 PM on Thursday, August 12th at Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main Street Salem, NH 03079.  His funeral began on Friday, August 13th at 9:30 AM at the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:30 AM at St. Joseph Church, 40 Main Street, Salem, NH. Burial followed the Mass in Pine Grove Cemetery, 329 Main Street, Salem, NH.

In-lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital @

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