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Joe M. Ortega

Obituary for Joe M. Ortega

September 28, 1932 - May 10, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 87


Joe Martinez Ortega, age 87, passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2020. He was born September 28, 1932 to Dolores Martinez and Sixto Ortega in San Antonio, Texas. He was the second youngest of 12 children, born and raised on the west side of San Antonio. To help contribute to his family's income, Ortega began earning money at six-years-old by shining shoes of local business men in downtown San Antonio. By eight-years-old, he began selling the local San Antonio Light newspaper to local elected officials at the San Antonio Courthouse, including the late Henry B. Gonzalez. Dropping out of the 11th grade from Sidney Lanier High School, Joe worked a few jobs before enlisting and proudly serving as an Airman third-class in the United States Air Force.

He fought in the Korean War, from 1950-1953. After his honorable discharge, Ortega married his longtime sweetheart, Santa Davila. Soon after, Ortega began working as a civilian for Kelly Air Force Base for 39 years as an aircraft mechanic. An avid reader of history, politics and crime stories, Ortega felt that his education was incomplete, and so devoted himself toward studying part-time by attending night school on base until earning his well-deserved GED. One of his goals was to take the family to Mexico City to experience the culture and history of their background, including exploring the sites of Teotihuacan, Calakmul and Uxmal pyramids. After retirement Joe honored and served the Lord along with his wife Santa Davila Ortega by actively volunteering countless hours to The Meals on Wheels organization delivering meals to the elderly. During their lifetime, both Joe and Santa were involved in St. Leonard's Church doing charity work, including prayer groups, choir, and church retreats. On the day of his passing Joe Ortega was surrounded by family members, both in person and by Face Time. A final family prayer was said and within seconds after the prayer, Joe quietly passed away in peace. He is preceded in death by his wife of 56 years Santa Davila Ortega, and son Gerald D. Ortega. Joe is survived by his children Cynthia Prusinsky and husband Vincent; Belinda Ortega Urdiales; Joe D. Ortega and wife Loretta A. Ortega; and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth V. Ortega (wife of Gerald); grandchildren include Vincent and Hailey Prusinsky; Marcel, Joe Anthony, and Katrina Ortega; Christopher and Erik Ortega; and Janel, Raquel, and Marizel Urdiales; as well as numerous great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2020
7:00 PM

11:00 AM

Joe will be laid to rest with his wife Santa at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson's Disease Research. You can send the family a private video via the "Send Hugs" link: Send Hugs for Joe Ortega

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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