Lupe Carol Ortega, 89 years old, passed away peacefully under the care of Vitas Hospice at Lodi Memorial Hospital on February 4, 2020. She was lifted up by the Lord and took the hand of her beloved husband Ray as they embraced and enjoyed their first dance in heaven.
Lupe was born on December 26, 1930, the youngest of nine children to Mercedes Negrete and Jesus Rosales. She grew up in foster care as a child, and in 1943 she had the wonderful fortune to be found by her older sister Angie. Lupe moved to Manteca, California to live with Angie and her husband Tori Payan and was blessed with an immediate loving family of eight nieces and nephews.
She graduated from Manteca High School in 1948 and was an enthusiastic student. Lupe was active in the Manteca Girls Athletic Association, Student Council and she was a Yell Leader during her senior year. During this time, she became an avid fan of Frankie Sinatra!
Lupe also became an avid fan of a young Tracy High School baseball pitcher, Ray Ortega!! They danced their way through courtship and married on June 9, 1951. They lived their entire married life together in Tracy, California and celebrated 62 years of marriage before Ray’s passing on June 27, 2013.
Lupe’s love for her family and commitment to her faith were the priorities in her life. She adored her husband Ray, whom she lovingly called “Fatso” and her children; Don (&Rosalyn) Ortega, Kellie Ortega, Patricia (&Mark) Ramorino and her Grandson Sam (&Jenna) Ramorino. The newest addition to the family, Sam & Jenna’s son, Raymond, brought her great joy and happiness. GG (Great Grandma) was continuously surprised and delighted to learn about and/or see her Great Grandson, Baby Ray! Lupe also had the great pleasure of being Aunt (Tia) Lupe and Nina to an abundance of nieces, nephews and godchildren.
In 1970 she followed her heart and started working for the Tracy Unified School District. She was a teacher’s aide for Mr. Frank Hagerty at El Portal School where she taught reading and math. Her time in the classroom with her students brought her endless joy and she absolutely loved her job. After several years, the teaching duo moved to Central School with Principal, Mr. George Kelly. Historically, “Mrs. Ortega” had a strong hold on cafeteria duty and used her whistle regularly!
Lupe was a devoted Catholic attending Mass daily at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. She served as a Eucharistic and Pastoral Minister at St. Bernard’s for many years. She also visited nursing homes and visited parishioners’ homes with Sister Marlene.
As a talented seamstress Lupe put her “Singer” to work sewing matching outfits and beautiful velvet dresses for her daughters on special occasions. She was also most accomplished at cooking, which her family and friends loved when she worked her magic in the kitchen on East 21st Street! She even shared her cooking at the annual Central School Festival; holding the #1 best food booth sales for her famous Spanish Rice, Tacos and Salsa.
Memories of Lupe’s children…
Her TLC was the best! Delicious meals from all cuisines, especially Mexican dishes that were everyone’s special requests for birthday dinners. Homemade everything! Cooking-baking-canning. You name it, she could make it. She made fresh tortillas every day.
We could always count on Mom and Dad’s tamales for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In fact, they were anticipated along with homemade breads and almond brittle for dessert! The celebration was a continuous rotation of family and friends around the dining room table.
Mom’s love of music and dancing was always a fun and enjoyable experience to behold. From Frankie to American Bandstand to Julio and Neil. Growing up we loved watching Mom and Dad as they danced at family weddings, gatherings and even at home. Later in life she became quite a “show-off” and took center stage for some of her own special performances.
God Bless You, Mama, Mom, Gma, GG, as you have found eternal peace and you are truly reunited with your beloved dance partner. We will continue to pray as you taught us. We will continue to follow the example of your prayerful and faithful life. We love you and miss you more than words can say…You will forever remain in our hearts. Thank you for the life you gave us.
A Rosary will be held at Fry Memorial Chapel in Tracy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 7:00pm, with visitation beginning at 5:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 11:00am. A committal will follow at the Tracy Public Cemetery, where Lupe will be placed beside her loving husband, Ray Ortega. A reception will follow.
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