Daniel “Danny” Ortega, 72, beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, friend and proud member of the United States Army was called to his eternal resting place on November 14, 2023.
He entered this world on September 19, 1951 in Roswell, NM, born to Eloy and Oralia Ortega Sr.
A lifelong member of St. John’s Catholic Church, Danny proudly attended St. John’s Catholic School and served as an altar boy. He participated in little league baseball playing for Glover’s Packing and was a Golden Gloves boxer. Besides participating in sports, Danny enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father, brothers and cousins.
Danny proudly graduated from Roswell High School in 1969 and after earning his high school diploma, enlisted in the United States Army in October 1969. He completed basic training in Fort Ord, California eventually serving in Vietnam and Augsburg, Germany, earning the following medals: National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal with DVC 60; and Army Commendation Medal. Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in May of 1972, Danny served in the United States Army National Guard from May 1972 to November of 1973 and again from August 1984 to May of 2002 retiring as a Sergeant First Class.
On January 31, 1973 Danny married his sweetie Barbara Helen Montoya. Understanding the importance of getting an education and providing for his family, Danny attended Eastern New Mexico University and earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in 1978.
Danny started his career path working alongside his brother’s with Ortega Brother’s Construction, moving onto the Roswell Job Corps Center, and retiring with the United States Postal Service as a postal carrier and supervisor in 2014. Besides having a successful career, Danny was a very successful and inspirational baseball coach at Lion’s Hondo Little League and Roswell Senior League.
In his spare time, Danny enjoyed traveling, studying Native American history/culture, attending sporting events, hunting/fishing, collecting coins, woodworking, researching his family genealogy, visiting with his many friends, and supporting his granddaughter’s goals and aspirations.
Daniel is preceded in death by his parents Eloy and Oralia Ortega, sister Anna Mae Marrujo, brother-in-law Charlie Marrujo, brother Robert Ortega, sister-in-law Elouise Ortega, brother-in-law Ramon Martinez, father and mother-in-law Pete and Josephine Montoya, sister-in-law Virgie Romero, and brother-in-law Jerry Montoya.
He is survived by his wife Helen Ortega; sons Danny Ortega Jr.; Jeff Ortega: daughter Vanessa Ortega (Donta); granddaughters Danielle, Viviana, and Gabriella Estrada; son-in-law Gabe Estrada; brothers Eloy Ortega Jr; Fred Ortega (Vera); Ernest Ortega (Lorena); and Andy Ortega (Lydia); sister Theresa Martinez; sisters-in-law Jessie Carabajal (Chris); Debbie Moore (Trent): brothers-in-law Pete Montoya (Diane); Frank Montoya (Jessica) and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Pallbearers will be his brothers Eloy; Fred; Ernest; Andy; brothers-in-law Pete and Frank; Andrew Brady, and Faustino Jaramillo.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Fermin Velasquez, Floyd Cobos, Rudy Ortega (Phoenix), Chuy Esparza (El Paso), Tom Sanchez (Las Cruces) and his numerous nephews and nieces.
His family thanks the staff at Heart Hospital of New Mexico in Albuquerque, University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, and Enhabit Home Health Services in Roswell for providing excellent care and compassion during his illness. In addition, we would like to thank his special childhood friends Andrew Brady, Faustino Jaramillo, Fermin Velasquez, Floyd Cobos and Army buddies Rudy Ortega and Chuy Esparza for showing unwavering support and friendship.