STOCKTON — Arturo Lopez was at his home in Mission, Texas, when family members told him his photo was featured on news reports from almost 2,000 miles away in California.

The 82-year-old Lopez figured they were mistaken until they described the portrait to him: a young man clad in an Air Force uniform sitting behind his bride. He said he knew then that it was his wedding portrait.

Late last month, Stockton’s Anita Bautista and Sophia Alvarez were featured in this newspaper and KCRA-TV because the women were trying to track down the couple in the wedding portrait.

More than a year ago, Bautista was shopping at Candace’s Boutique and Thrift in Stockton when she saw the couple’s photo, which no one knew who it belonged to or who the bride and groom were after it was found at an estate sale. The 85-year-old Bautista wanted to track down the couple’s family.

Bautista could not be reached for comment.

Alvarez helped her by taking the search online and then to the media.

Lopez, who has his copy of the portrait at his Texas home, said the photo Bautista saw at the store likely came from a sister-in-law who lived in Stockton. She died about three years ago and her belongings, along with the photo, may have been sold. He added that only relatives received copies of the portrait.

The photo was taken on Oct. 27, 1954, when Arturo Lopez and Alicia Lopez, who were 18 and 19, respectively, married in Redwood City. She’s in her wedding dress and he’s in his Air Force uniform, he said.

Lopez quipped that he distinctly remembers his wedding day because he had originally asked for permission to leave on Oct. 31 so the couple could marry, but Alicia said she would not get married on Halloween.

Alicia Lopez died in 1998 at the age of 65. After her passing, Arturo moved back to his hometown of Mission, Texas, which is where the couple first met. He remarried in 2000.

Lopez said the couple lived in Redwood City for 45 years and raised two biological sons, Arturo Daniel and Joel Lopez, and an adoptive son, Michael Lopez.

“We had a good life,” he said.

Lopez said what Bautista and Alvarez did was very nice and he appreciates the women’s effort to find him.

“It brought back some good memories,” he said.

Contact reporter Almendra Carpizo at (209) 546-8264 or acarpizo@recordnet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ AlmendraCarpizo.