A great man spoke about the importance of making a difference. This man, the beloved Raim Lopez, passed away at the age of 59 on Sunday, July 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. He is survived and admired by his wife Angelique, his children Danielle and Michael, his stepchildren Timothy, Brian, and Rachel, his brothers Juan Carlos and Williams, his nieces Stephanie, Kristin, and Sophie, his mother-in-law Anita, his son-in-law Matthew, and his grandson Joshua.
On August 12, 1960, Raim was born in Holgin, Cuba. His mother Nancy Herrera and father Raim Lopez also had Raim’s brother, Juan Carlos. The boys’ grandmother Dulce Maria, mother’s aunt and uncle were major positive influences in their lives and upbringing. While still young, Raim and Juan Carlos were separated from their mother, and their father died shortly after. Around 1971, Raim moved to Spain en route to the United States to be raised by his mother’s aunt and uncle.
After arriving in Miami, Florida, Raim went to Hialeah High and Miami Dade Community College where he enrolled in Gymnastics team and won a medal at the Florida State Olympics. Raim quickly become successful at gymnastics, physical fitness, health and wellness, anatomy and physiology, etc. while also adapting to American culture and learning how to speak English. He proved to be a natural at anything athletic, teeming with a gifted ability to both learn and teach movement.
Once Raim reunited with Juan Carlos in 1979, and the two brothers would scuba dive, drive, and live together in Hialeah, Florida. Since 1981 he was teaching gymnastics. Raim was saved by Christ in 1985. After marrying his first wife Michelle Kalphat in 1986, they raised their children Joshua Raim, Danielle, and Michael in Central Florida.
Being a big kid himself, Raim loved playing games with his kids. From tickling to chasing to flipping upside down, he did what he could to put smiles on their faces. When it came to if the kids were going to laugh with dad, the answer was yes or yes.
Blessed with athletic talents and knowledge of health, Raim earned a Physical Education Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University in 1989 and Exercise Physiology Master’s in Science Degree from University of Central Florida. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida and a fitness specialist who promoted and sold individualized fitness programs.
Raim starting working worked as an elementary school physical education teacher in 1990 in Central Florida. At Stenstrom Elementary, he met and mentored one of his best friends, Doug Byers. In 1992, Lopez received an award for the Most Innovative Physical Education Program in Florida from Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. When coaching, or just in regular life, he had been known to tell others to fly high and would talk about soaring with the eagles.
After the end of his first marriage in 1997, he continued teaching. With extensive knowledge of physical fitness, Raim also worked as a personal trainer, gymnastics teacher, tumbling coach, etc. Raim co-authored a book, Teaching FUNdamental Gymnastics Skills. In 2001, he won the Disney "Teacherrific" Award.
Raim transitioned from working in education and fitness to the pharmaceutical sales field. His charming demeanor and amiable attitude naturally led him to excel at communicating with people. He soon became the head of his division in the entire state. He earned many rewards in recognition for his excellence in the field.
God blessed Raim with another chance when he met his current wife Angelique in church, and they married in 2006. The two brought together three children from each side, with over ten cats and dogs at one given time. Raim and Angelique perpetuated a family culture of cherishing one another with comedy and affection.
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