Cover photo for Joseph "Pepito" Pepo Ortega's Obituary

Joseph "Pepito" Pepo Ortega

d. October 4, 2023


Joseph “Pepito” Pepo Ortega was born on October 9, 1985, in Los Alamos, New Mexico to Joseph and Marcella Ortega.  He departed this life at the age of 37 on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at Presbyterian Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM, after a lengthy illness.

Pepito was a very friendly and outgoing person.  He always had a joke to tell, a laugh to share, or a smile on his face.  His thoughtfulness, kind heart, and generosity will always be remembered fondly.  His memory and his sense of humor will live on through his children Anneliza and Joseph Ortega.

Pepito spent over 15 years as a correctional officer in Santa Fe and Los Alamos Counties.  He enjoyed the outdoors, he was an excellent marksman and hunter, best one to help worm a hook, and unsurpassed ability to process a fish for the skillet, he enjoyed cooking for his friends and family.  He will be deeply missed by all those who loved him. 

He was preceded in death by his infant son; grandparents Sixto and Lucy Martinez, Jessie and Benicio Ortega; Uncle Benny “Shorty” Ortega and Auntie Gloria Bendiola, close cousin Bridget Bendiola.

He is survived by his children Anneliza and Joseph, and their mother Kathleen; his beloved mother Marcella (Edward Lucier) and father Joseph “Pepo” Ortega; his brothers and their families: Jesse and Sara Ortega and their daughter Kalia; John and Maria Ortega and their children Martin, Estrella, Luciana, Nevaeh, Maribel; Uncle Sixto “Tito” Martinez; Aunties Eileen Ulibarri and Becky Cordova, Uncle Adan and his wife Becky, his girlfriend Lauren Suina, special cousins Krystal Ulibarri, Chris Cordova, Archie Martinez, Mario Ulibarri and Ricky Martinez, special friends Bob Gurule and Maryann Gurule,  as well as many cousins and extended family.

On the night a man had a dream.

He dreamed that he was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life

For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;

One belonging to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,

he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of his life

There were only one set of footprints,

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest

And saddest times of his life.


This really bothered him

And he questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,

You would walk with me all the way.

But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,

There is only one set of footprints;

I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me”.


The Lord replied, “My child, my precious, precious child,

I love you and would never leave you.

During your times of trial and suffering,

When you see only one set of footprints,

It was then that I carried you.”


A Rosary will be recited  on Friday, October 27, 2023, at 11:30 am at Sacred Heart Parish in Espanola, NM, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 12:00 pm.  

The family of Joseph Ortega has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley.   505-747-7477

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Pepito" Pepo Ortega, please visit our flower store.


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