Pete Ortega Sr.
September 9, 1926-June 19, 2020
Pete Ortega, 93, a longtime resident of Tracy, California passed away on Friday June 19, 2020 surrounded by his loved ones.
Pete was born on September 9, 1926 in Sanger, California. He moved to Tracy as a young child and attended schools in Tracy. In 1944, he married Connie Fernandez from Stockton. She was the love of his life. They had been together 70 years before she passed away on October 31, 2014.
Pete is survived by his children Pete Ortega Jr., Alfred (Dolores) Ortega, Jerry Ortega, Bobby Ortega, Shirlee (Michael) Vierra, all of Tracy, and Debbie Ortega of Fair Oaks. He leaves behind 13 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 4 great great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings Lupe “Ruthie” Valerio, Ramona Solario, Bobby Gutierrez, Jess (Laverne) Gutierrez, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and extended family members.
Pete started his baseball career in 1933 as batboy for Tracy Azules. His playing career as a star outfielder, along with his five brothers, started with a variety of teams ranging from the “Blues” to the postwar Latin Vets, Hires, Latin-American Club, Pepsi’s, and finally in 1964 with Sun Valley Creamery where he and Pete Jr. were teammates. They frequently dueled to see who could out-hit the other. In 1974, he was inducted into the California-Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1983, he was inducted into the Tracy Sports Hall of Fame along with his brothers. They were known as Tracy’s First Family of Baseball. Pete and his brothers started farming in the late 50s at Ortega Farms growing tomatoes until his retirement in the early 80s. He was a Corporal for the United States Army during World War II.
Pete was a devoted and loving husband, dad, papa, uncle, brother, and friend. He was always sweet, caring, generous, and easy-going with everyone. He enjoyed traveling and dancing with his beloved wife. They loved attending parties and dancing the night away. Pete was a great dancer and knew many different dancing styles. He enjoyed playing golf, baseball, bowling, and watching sports. He loved spending time with his family and continuing family traditions even after his wife passed away. He always supervised us making tamales for Christmas to ensure they turned out just like Grandma’s. He enjoyed his occasional glass of wine in the evening, and we always made sure he received wine as a gift for special holidays.
Preceding him in death were his father; Anastacio Ortega; his mother, Rita Ortega-Gutierrez; his stepfather, Ray Gutierrez; a daughter, Gloria Dalton; a grandson Brian Dalton; and Jana Ott. Pete was also preceded in death by several brothers and sisters; Mary (Vincent) Reynoso, Delfino (Consuelo) Ortega, Lizzie (Julian) Ramirez, Joe (Sally) Ortega; Rosie Martinez; Vera (Nick) Lucero; and Ray (Lupe) Ortega.
He loved life and will be greatly missed, especially his warm smile. We love you and you will always have a special place in our hearts!
Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 South Central Avenue, is honored to serve the Ortega Family. Visitation will be held at Fry Memorial Chapel on Wednesday July 1, 2020 from 2pm-7pm. Services and Burial will be private for immediate family only due to COVID-19 and our current social distancing restrictions. Video streaming of his service will be available at 11:00am on Thursday July 2, 2020 at www.frymemorialchapel.com just visit his tribute page. Final Resting will be beside his beloved Connie at Tracy Public Cemetery.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 7/2/2020 at 11:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time.
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