Friday, Jan. 13, 2023
September 8, 1932 ~ December 22, 2022
George Ortega — our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle — passed on peacefully from his time on earth, surrounded by his family, on December 22, 2022.
George was born September 8, 1932, to Felipe Ortega and Hermila Contreras. He married the love of his life, Raquel de la Vega Ortega, on March 29, 1959, in their hometown of Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua, Mexico. They renewed their vows in 2009.
George adored dancing with Raquel to their favorite boleros and ranchera music. On piano, which he learned to play by ear, he’d play their favorite songs from their youth while she sang. Always on the move, he loved swimming, skiing, travel and adventure. He journeyed to the United States in 1956 and was soon drafted into the United States Army, serving in Germany during the Cold War at the time of the Hungarian Revolution.
George, a proud veteran, delighted in sharing his experiences both on duty and touring through Europe. He was a master storyteller. His animated face, expressive eyebrows and cheeky turns of phrase enthralled his listeners anytime he spun a tale. Yet his curiosity about other people was boundless.
With his charisma and genuine care for others, George became fast friends with many in his community, where he was well-known and -respected. He specialized in brick masonry and worked in concrete, taking great pride in his trade. He was an active, devout member of St. Olaf Parish in Bountiful and even helped construct the original chapel and bell tower. He served diligently as a parish usher for many years.
George put all of himself into whatever he did. He worked steadfastly and enjoyed time with friends and family with ice tinkling in a glass of his favored Scotch whisky. Nothing brought a twinkle to his eye like joking with his grandsons. Most of all, he loved with all his heart.
He’s survived by Raquel, his brother Alfredo, sister Alma, his children Rachel (Robert Nicholas), Edward and Robert (Jennifer), grandchildren David (Elizabeth), Carver (Tanner) and Alexander (Nancy), and great-grandchildren Owen and James. He was preceded in death by Felipe, Hermila and his siblings Ofelia, Alberto, César, Alicia and Luis Antonio.
George’s family expresses deep gratitude to the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Healthcare System and City View Mortuary. Funeral services were held December 29 at St. Olaf Catholic Church.