Gilbert Daniel Ortega

Gilbert Daniel Ortega, 80, of Alamosa, Colo., went to be with the Lord on Nov. 10, 2023, after his long battle with cancer.

Gilbert was born in Monte Vista, Colo., on March 3, 1943.      

Upon high school graduation, Gilbert joined the Army (and National Guard) where he served 6 years during the Vietnam War — he was very proud of his military service. He expanded his education at Adams State College. Gilbert went on to work for the U.S. (Rio Grande) Forest Service where he designed mountain roads, eventually retiring after 30-plus years. During retirement Gilbert was not ready to settle down and began his entrepreneurial career as a videographer for the next 11 years.

Gilbert spent most of his life in the San Luis Valley where he thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors — fishing, hunting, and camping. He was so fond of fishing, on weekends he would wake up his family SUPER early and head up to the mountains (Road Canyon, Creed, Rock Creek, Shaw Lake, many other places) where they enjoyed the entire day (or weekend) fishing, eating potato chip sandwiches, and appreciating nature.   

Gilbert was extremely knowledgeable about car mechanics. He had many hobbies, but one of his favorites was playing pool with friends or competing in pool tournaments. He was also a gifted artist who took pride in drawing, painting, crafting, and taking photographs. 

Gilbert had a deep love and respect for animals. As children, his daughters can remember stopping on the side of the road to cut alfalfa to take home to his rabbits. 

The most important aspect of Gilbert’s life was his spirituality and his relationship with the Lord. He spent many days studying the bible and or having conversations with his family and friends; and in his final days was grateful for the VA Chaplin who would stop by and read scriptures to him — this gave him peace.

Gilbert was proceeded in death by his parents Louie and Eva (Valdez) Ortega, his brother Anthony Ortega, his beloved Audrey Worker, and his son-in-law Jose Cordova.

Gilbert is survived by his brother Joseph Ortega, daughters Felicia Cordova, Sherrie Ortega (Antonio Rivota), Cristie Ortega, Loretta Conaway (Brent Conaway), his grandchildren Ashley Southard (Jj Southard), Michaela Aoyama, Anastasia Manzanares (Joshua De Santiago), John “RJ” Manzanares (Angie Romero), Davin Ortega; his great-grandchildren Alyssa Aoyama, Jaylynn Aoyama, Jesslyn Molina, Erica Molina, Alyanah De Santiago, Hoshea De Santiago, Charlett De Santiago, Mykah Manzanares, John Michael Manzanares; his step-sons Gary Coffey (Crystal), Brandon Coffey, his step-grandsons BJ Coffey, Isiah Coffey, Koby Coffey.

Gilbert’s last days were spent in San Antonio, Texas, with his daughter. Arrangements for an intimate viewing will take place at the Schertz Funeral home at 12 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2023; afterwards he will be cremated. In the spring Gilbert will be taken home to Alamosa for family and friends to pay their last respects and come together to celebrate his life. Afterwards, he will be placed next to his parents at the San Luis Valley cemetery.