Rosie Ortega Ruiz
Rosie Ortega Ruiz, 77, passed away peacefully in her home in Phoenix, AZ on March 26, 2021.
She was born in Morenci, AZ on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 1944 to a pioneer copper mining family, and from that day on, she was always ready to smile, laugh, sing, and dance a cumbia or corrido. Not surprisingly, her favorite color was green, and at one point everything she owned had been green (car, house color, carpet, couch, bedspread, etc).
She truly loved to sing and dance…and clean. Some relatives loved for her to visit, knowing that their home would get a thorough cleaning before she left. And she loved to combine cleaning with music, especially Eydie Gorme's "Piel Canela", where her dance partner was the vacuum cleaner, and she would point to her children while singing "me importas, tu, y tu, y tu".
Rosie graduated from Morenci High School in 1963, where she was a cheerleader, in Glee Club, and Drama. One way to get her excited was to start singing Morenci's Fight Song. She loved attending reunions, and the annual Baile de Los Viejos. Because, of course, where else could you combine family, singing, dancing, reminiscing with friends, eating, and getting all dolled up. These were the times that she was in her element, and made her so happy. And, of course, she always stuck around to help clean up, which would give her even more time to talk and laugh with family and friends. Her Morenci friends were family, and she Loved them all (Charlotte, Jenny, Inez, Delores, Mary, Mary Joyce, Helen, Sarah, Jessie, Mercy, and SO MANY more!).
Rosie was the 9th of 10 children born to Fortunata Andazola and Dario Ortega (both deceased). She is also preceded in death by her brothers Ismael (Frances), infant Ecliserio, infant Dario, and sisters Yolanda Esparza (Jimmie), infant Elida, and Ida Baltz (Richard). She is survived by her brothers Dario (Carmela) and Miguel (Toni), and sister Elida Figueroa.
She is also survived by husband Eliseo G. Ruiz, whom she met on a visit to family in Phoenix in the Summer of 1961. Three years later, she married "Cheo" on May 5, 1964 and together raised four children Eliseo Jr (Debbie), Kimberly Romero (Danny), Ruben (Micki) and April Hernandez (Mario). She loved her five granddaughters dearly: Marissa, Raquel, Gabrielle, Giselle, and Olivia, and also her step-granddaughters Lacey and Michelle.
Rosie is also survived by many in-laws and 85+ nieces and nephews. Yes, big family! And speaking of even more family, she is also survived by the many students in the Paradise Valley area that knew Rosie as the school guard/aide. She treated them as her own, and they in-turn respected her guidance. She always ran into her students in the PV area, and they were always eager to say hello and give her a hug.
Rosie was a devout Catholic and is now with her savior Jesus Christ and deceased family. She is probably cleaning the rooms of heaven, while preparing for a big meal and a big dance with her deceased family and friends. We're sure she'll lead the group in a version of "On Morenci" and smile upon us each and every day, while singing "me importas tu, y tu, y tu….".
A funeral mass will be held at St Joan of Arc Catholic Church on Friday, April 9th at 11am. Arrangements entrusted to Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 2 to Apr. 4, 2021.