Carolina "Carol" Ortiz Alegria
Carolina "Carol" Ortiz Alegria transitioned to the next phase of her journey on July 20, 2020, at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California, due to Covid-19. She was 68.
Carol was born on May 22, 1952, in Indio, California, to Isabel Montoya Ortiz and Ruby Cornejo Ortiz and grew up in the beautiful barrio of Coachella. After graduating from Coachella Valley High School in 1970, Carol received her AA degree as a Registered Nurse (RN) from College of the Desert. In 1983, she left a high-salaried nursing job in San Diego to return to the Coachella Valley to support her farmworker community at the El Progreso Del Desierto Health Center, where she met and worked with Rudolpho Alegria, M.D., who would become her future
partner and husband. As El Progreso Del Desierto's first RN and Clinic Manager, Carol coordinated the Center's community health fairs, immunization clinics, blood drives, student sports physicals, mobile clinics and annual clinic with the Flying Doctors, as well as their food and toy drives (Navidad En El Barrio), annual Christmas parties and even their first softball team.
After leaving El Progreso Del Desierto, Carol worked alongside Dr. Alegria for the next almost-thirty years as Office Manager at their new office on Miles Avenue in Indio, California, where Carol's sister, Esther Sahlstom, RN, also worked. Greatly skilled in medicine, nursing and medical office management, Carol was deeply engaged in community social justice and also enjoyed and excelled at gardening, floral arrangements, cooking, entertaining and curating a beautiful and welcoming home.
In December 1987, the couple welcomed their daughter, Crystal Rosalia Alegria, into their raucous and deeply loving family, which included Nikita, Santé and Consuelo, Dr. Alegria's three children from his first marriage, and Daryne Nicole, who Carol raised as her own daughter. Throughout her life, Carol unflaggingly shared her love, support and generosity with her many siblings, nieces, nephews, her extended family and her large circle of friends. In 2016, she and Dr. Alegria, her partner of over 35 years, were married at the Yosemite Valley Chapel in Yosemite National Park, California.
Carol is survived by her husband, Dr. Rudolpho Alegria; daughters Crystal Rosalia Alegria Garcia, Daryne Nicole and Consuelo Alegria; siblings Virginia (Dina) Bishop, Esther Sahlstrom, Anthony Cornejo Ortiz, Daniel Ortiz and Linda Roedeger. She is preceded in death by her parents (Isabel Ortiz and Ruby Cornejo Ortiz) and her siblings Carlos Ortiz, Rosalie Ortiz, Mercedes Cole, Arnold Ortiz and Eugene (Bunsy) Ortiz.
Carol was cremated through the Trident Society of Rancho Mirage, California. A Celebration of Life will be held for family on October 24, 2020. Carol will be greatly missed by those fortunate to have known her.
Published in The Desert Sun from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18, 2020.