Lefty Ortiz, born in Winslow, AZ in April 19, 1935 passed away surrounded by his family at the age of 83, on October 13, 2018.
Lefty moved to Cottonwood AZ in 1940 and attended Cottonwood Elementary and Cottonwood High School, graduating with the class of 1955 and shortly thereafter attended NAU on a football scholarship.
Lefty met his lifetime love, Carmen Sandoval and they married in October 26, 1958 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Jerome.
He served in the Army National Guard of Arizona and Army Reserve, 2d R/P Co B3d Battalion 158 Infantry. After six years he was Honorably Discharged as SGT E5.
Lefty worked at Peterson Sawmill until it went out of business then went to work at Cottonwood Lumber Company, Babbitt’s Lumber, Lumberman’s and finally Probuild, finally retiring in 1997.
He had a strong commitment to the community, which included several years of coaching for Verde Valley Little League, even before his own children were old enough to participate. He spent 27and a half years volunteering on the Mingus Union Football “Chain Gang” before passing that baton on to his son Art. He also dedicated 25 years to the Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department, and served for a short time as Assistant Fire Chief as well as Fire Chief. Once retired in 1987, he was one of the first men to qualify and receive retirement benefits for his volunteer efforts. Lefty was a member of the American Bowling Association for close to 60 years.
Lefty is survived by his wife, Carmen, children, Jessie (Randy), Art (Lesley), Paul (Laura) and Lisa (Roddy). As well as 8 Grandchildren, 3 Great grandchildren and sisters Vera Varela, Rosie Lee and brother Tony Ortiz. He was preceded in death by his parents Moises and Juanita Sanchez Ortiz, brother Tomas Ortiz, infant daughter Esther Ortiz and granddaughter Alexcis Walters.
Lefty is best remembered for his time spent creating countless memories with his loved ones, friends and family, enjoying the outdoors while camping, hunting, fishing and golfing.
Services will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish, 700 N. Bill Gray Rd. Cottonwood, AZ on Saturday, October 20, 2018. They will begin at 10:30am with prayers of the Rosary. Mass at 11 a.m. and Burial will follow at All Souls Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held after the graveside services at the Moose Lodge, 1051 S. Broadway St. Clarkdale, AZ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Northern Arizona Hospice or a charity of your choice.
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