Orlando G. Ortiz


Orlando G. Ortiz was born in Taos, New Mexico on November 26, 1925. He attended the public schools in Taos graduating at the age of 16. He earned a degree from the University of New Mexico in inter-American Affairs in August 1945. He received a Master's degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin in 1948. Mr. Ortiz married Ruby Velasquez in February 1946. They began their life together teaching in the Espanola Public Schools. In 1948 he began a 30-year career with the Taos Municipal Schools. For seven years he taught Spanish, Latin American History and Driver Education at Taos High School. He also served as Assistant Principal and Counselor for two years, as high school principal for four years, as Director of Instruction for twelve years, Director of Federal Projects for six years and as Superintendent for seven years. In the mid-sixties, he helped acquire large amounts of federal funds to help with the construction of certain sections of the present high school, namely, the math and science classrooms, the English and Spanish classrooms and the kitchen and cafeteria. Under his direction, the construction of the Taos Junior High School building was begun, and it was completed in August 1974. New Bleachers were installed in Anaya Field, and the high school vocational building was constructed. With the help of Dr. Frank Angel, President of New Mexico Highlands University in the early seventies, Ortiz was instrumental in getting the Taos Educational Center (now UNM-Taos) started by getting the approval of the school board. He served as a member of the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents for a six-year term from 1973 to 1979. He was director of the Taos Educational Center for one year (1983-1984). For several years after retiring from the public schools in 1978, Ortiz served in different civic and community organizations, including the Taos Historical Committee and the Taos Tomorrow Committee, both appointments by former Mayor Phil Lovato. He also served on the Board of the Taos Chamber of Commerce in the early eighties, the Harwood Library Committee, the American Cancer Society and for about ten years in the nineties, he served as Commissioner and President of the Acequia Madre del Pueblo. He also served as a lector at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for about ten years. Additional, he helped run the family business, Granada Furniture, part-time for twenty years until it was sold in 1998. Orlando Ortiz was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years Ruby V. Ortiz, his parents, the late E.B. and Ophelia S. Ortiz, brothers, Joseph Ortiz and Arthur Ortiz and sister Sadie Knight. He is survived by his daughter, Gina and husband Charles Gallagher and grand-daughters Renee and Alexis as well as by brother Ted Ortiz (Cecilia), and sisters Lucille Olds (Wally), Margaret Werner (Robert) and Anna Marie Velasquez, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Eulogy will begin at 9:30 AM on Friday, April 5, 2019, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church with a funeral mass following at 10 AM. Interment will be held immediately after at the Sierra Vista Cemetery. Arrangements by Rivera Funeral Home, Taos. To share a memory, please visit our website at To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. J.K. Rowling


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