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Gary Lee Ortiz

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Gary Lee Ortiz Obituary
SFC Gary Lee Ortiz SFC Gary Lee Ortiz, US Army Retired, was taken from us, far too soon, on October 3, 2010 after a brief and valiant struggle with cancer. He was but 50 years of age. Gary was born April 18, 1960 in Baltimore, MD to Nestor and Joann Ortiz. He graduated Dundalk High School in 1978 and enlisted into the army in 1979. Initially trained in Radio-Telecommunications, he later in his career moved to the Chemical Corps where he took great pride in training soldiers in the field on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare operations. His duties took him through Germany and much of Europe, as well as Louisiana, Panama, Texas and Kentucky, where he retired from service in 1998. He received many decorations and awards, but two gave him the most satisfaction: The Meritorious Service Medal and The Expert Rifleman's Badge. While stationed in Germany in 1982 Gary met his wife, Army Sgt. Helen Jezierski, formerly of Port Huron. After a whirlwind romance of only 9 months, they married in June 1983 and remained devoted to one another. They welcomed, with much joy, their daughter, Cassandra Lizbeth Ortiz, in 1987. After leaving the Army, Gary became a project manager for AT&T where he was admired and respected by all he worked with. Gary loved his family deeply and had a special love for Helen's extended family of siblings, aunts and many cousins. He often opined that, through marriage, he was "related to half the state of Michigan." Gary had a great love of music and played bass guitar. He had a special interest in the music of Rush. Through the website rushisaband.com, Gary and Helen met and made friends with Rush fans from all walks of life, and those friends loved their "Analog Kid." Gary wanted to "Go home, have a beer, kiss my girls and get some rest." He passed away in his home in Tipp City, Ohio, with his girls by his side. Gary is survived by his wife, Helen Jezierski Ortiz; daughter, Cassandra Ortiz and her fiance, Brandon Jurusik; sister, Sandra (Luis) Prettyman of Baltimore MD; niece and nephew Desiree and Vincent Ortiz of Maryland; and aunts, Sylvia "Tinker" Spiess of Texas and Bess (Bob) Berlin of Delaware. He also leaves grieving his "sister-in-law-best-friend" Kathy (Joe) Bernard of Marysville; and in-law siblings, Paul (Deborah) Jezierski and Stan (Cathy) Jezierski of Port Huron, and Anne Roggenssee of Las Vegas; many beloved nieces and nephews and their growing families; and extended family and friends who will miss him dearly. Gary was predeceased by his parents; brother, Victor "Butch" Ortiz; grandparents, Gertrude and Lester Boone; and special mother-in-law, Liz Jezierski. Services will be held on Saturday November 6, 2010 at Westhaven Baptist Church, Port Huron. Visitation at the church will begin at 10 a.m. with services following at 11 a.m. www.fringsandbayliff.com

Published in The Times Herald from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, 2010
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