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Jay Siecel Ortmayer

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Jay Siecel Ortmayer Obituary

Jay Siecel Ortmayer was born December 6, 1915 in Dupree, South Dakota to Frank and Mattie Ortmayer, the fifth of six children. He passed away on January 19, 2015 at the age of 99 years at his home in Escondido.

The Ortmayer family moved from South Dakota to Los Angeles in 1932 when Jay was 17 years old. He graduated from George Washington High School and began pre-med classes at Compton Junior College. However, money was tight and he left school in search of full time employment. He worked for a while with the Los Angeles Streetcar Company.

In 1942, the war production efforts shifted into high gear. Jay went to work as a welder for Western Pipe and Steel in the San Pedro shipyards, building the first of the Navy's large icebreakers and escorts. There, he met Ethel Henrickson, who would be the first to admit she wasn't a very good welder and said that Jay did her welding for her so she could keep her job. They were married on May 20, 1944.

Jay and Ethel, moved to Yuba City in 1947 with their infant daughter and purchased their first and only home on Market Street. Jay did seasonal work in local lumber and agricultural endeavors until he became a heavy equipment mechanic for Marysville Tractor in 1949. He and Ethel had two sons and continued to be actively involved in the community. In 1966, he left Marysville Tractor/Tenco Tractor at the urging of a friend and went into the construction field with Perini Corp., working on both the Bullard Bar Dam and Lake Oroville Dam projects. However, he returned to the tractor repair business and retired from Peterson Tractor in Chico.

While in Yuba City, Jay was very active in the Moose Lodge. He and Ethel held the offices of Governor and Senior Regent. They loved the dances, bowling leagues, camper club, spaghetti nights and bingo games and enjoyed many, many great friendships. Jay had an auto shop next to the house and spent many hours working on cars and teaching his boys how to do their own car repairs. His pride and joy was a 1960 Jaguar XK-150 that he kept in mind condition for many years.

In 1973, Jay and Ethel bought a gold mining claim on a remote piece of property in Plumas National Forest. A sluice and a dredge and several nice little nuggets later, the claim became a favorite getaway for them and their grandchildren.

Jay and Ethel celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 1984. However, two years later, Ethel passed away very suddenly. For the next couple of years, Jay took his daughter and grandchildren on wonderful trips to Alaska, Colorado and on the Disney cruise to the Caribbean.

In 1991, Jay decided he wanted to go to Australia and joined an Elderhostel tour leaving grandkids behind this time. One this trip, he met Jane Riley and a year later, they were married while on an Elderhostel cruise in the Greek Isles. For the next 23 years, they traveled the world and enjoyed Jane's home in Escondido. Jane passed away in June of 2014.

Jay was a kind and wonderful man, loved by his family, friends and all that knew him.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents, all of his siblings, his wives, Ethel and Jane, and his son, Rodney. He is survived by his daughter, Ginny Tuscano, and his son, Keith, and daughter-in-law, Debbie. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Lis Johnson, Chris Tuscano, Jesse Tuscano, Justin Ortmayer and Felisha Ortmayer, and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his step-children, Brian Mudd, Mary Quinn, Jim Mudd, John Mudd, Warren Mudd and Steven Mudd.

A "Celebration of Life" service and reception will be hosted by the Moose Lodge #1204 on Friday, February 6, 2015, at 11:00 am. The Lodge is located at 205 S. Walton Ave., Yuba City. A private interment will be at Sierra View Memorial park at an earlier date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mooseheart or Moosehaven in care of the local Moose Lodge or .

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2015
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