Thomas Ortega, 82 of Questa passed away January 10, 2011.
He was born May 11, 1928 to Juan and Candelaria Ortega in Llano Quemado. He lost both of his parents at an early age. He lived with uncles and aunts in Lama. He attended school in Questa and moved to California with his brother where he worked in the shipyards and later served in the military.
He started his career in mining construction and worked building the Alaskan pipeline and subway tunnels in New York City and in other various parts of the country. His career took him to the Philippines and other parts of the world. He returned in 1985 to Questa where he was very active in the Cerro Fire Department and served as Chief until his death. He loved the outdoors and fishing and hunting, but especially gambling and traveling.
He was preceded in death by parents, Juan and Candelaria Ortega, brother, Max Ortega and sister Pita Ortega.
He is survived by children, Francine Vigil, Tommy Ortega, Laura Green, Rosemary McKanskry, grandchildren, Darrell Vigil, Samuel Vigil and Christie Divine, nieces and nephews, Esther García, Max Ortega Jr., Bobby Ortega, Julie Lucero, partner and caretaker, Olivia Cortez and many other relatives and friends.
Rosary was recited on January 12, 2011 at Rivera Chapel. Funeral mass was held on January 13, 2011 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Cerro. Interment was held at the Cerro Cemetery.
Arrangements by Rivera Family Mortuaries & Crematory. www.riverafuneralhome.com