Barbara Ortiz

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Barbara Ortiz


After a long, happy and productive life, Barbara Ortiz passed away at age 99. She was born in 1918 to Henry T. and Casianita Jaramillo, one of the area's first settling families. Barbara was a member of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, attended St. Mary's Catholic School, graduated from Belen High School and attended Western Business School in Albuquerque.

She married her high school sweetheart, Arthur Ortiz and was married to him until his death in 1992. Together they raised three daughters, Gloria Gabaldon, Leonella Arroyo and Annabelle Barela. Barbara and Arthur were not only life partners, but they were business partners as well. In 1955, her late husband Arthur Ortiz, one of the founding fathers of the Belen Railway Employees Credit Union, and our mother, Barbara, very generously operated the credit union out of their home for 35 years. Barbara's dining room table was where all the business of the day and plans for the future were made. For 35 years Barbara and Arthur worked side-by-side carrying out the duties of the credit union. Caring for a loving home, keeping up with her office duties and caring for three daughters was a big job, but because Barbara and Arthur believed so strongly in the credit union philosophy of "people helping people", Barbara gave willingly and tirelessly of her time and energy to help improve the quality of life for so many members of our community. For their significant contributions to the credit union industry, Barbara and Arthur were awarded the "Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award", the highest award given to individuals in the New Mexico credit union industry. After Arthur's passing in 1992, Barbara continued on with her office duties as an unpaid volunteer until the age of 89. Outside of family life and the credit union, Barbara cherished the memories of her and Arthur's extensive travel throughout the United States and Europe. Barbara valued independence in thoughts and actions and expected others to subscribe to the same thinking. This was evident from the young age of 12, when she helped run the family grocery store for her father, Henry T. Jaramillo, while he served as the Valencia County Sheriff. Barbara was determined and self-disciplined and remained alert and independent until her death. Her independent, caring and loving nature has been an inspiration to many women in our family. God asks us to live our lives in a kind, peaceful and giving nature so that we can help make this world a better place and we are very comforted in knowing that our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Barbara Ortiz, has helped make this world a better place for herself, for her family and for the rest of the world.

Barbara is preceded in death by her late husband, Arthur Ortiz; her grandson, Craig Arroyo; her parents, Henry and Casianita Jaramillo; her sisters, Lucy Sanchez, Rose Aragon and Lena Frazee; her brothers, Eddie Jaramillo and Alfonso Jaramillo; her son-in-law, Vincente "Rocky" Arroyo; and her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Jaramillo. She is survived by her daughters, Gloria Gabaldon (Eugene), Leonella Arroyo and Annabelle Barela (Milton); her grandchildren, Jeff Barela (Beth), Charles Gabaldon (Kim), Jerard Barela (Shurie), Christopher Arroyo (Sarah), Jason Barela (Christie), and Stephany Jones (Jeff); her seventeen great-grandchildren; her three great-great-grandchildren; her brothers, Henry Jaramillo (Elsie), Gillie Jaramillo and Jerry Jaramillo (Nury); and her sister-in-laws, Mena Leon (Hector) and Thresa Jaramillo.

All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church. A Public Visitation will begin on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. A Final Visitation will take place on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be Jeffrey Barela, Charles Gabaldon, Jerard Barela, Christopher Arroyo, Jordan Arroyo, Jason Barela, and Stephany Jones. The family of Barbara Ortiz would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the loving and caring caretakers of Good Life Senior Living and Memory Care as well as the nurses from Ambercare Hospice. The family requests donations for St. Mary's Catholic School in lieu of flowers. Please sign Barbara's online tribute at

Romero Funeral Home,

609 N. Main St. Belen, NM.

Funeral Home
Romero Funeral Home
609 N Main St
Belen, NM 87002
(505) 864-8501
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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 14, 2017