Gary Lee Ortiz
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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


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Published in The Times Herald from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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46 entries
November 23, 2010
I'm glad I had the chance to tell you everything I told you at Club Xanadu the day of the Bristow Rush show. I don't have the words to express my sadness at not being able to laugh with you, joke with you, share another RatCon with you, another great musical discovery, etc. I just miss you, period. Ultimately, I know one day we all will join you somewhere down the road...until then I don't believe I will ever hear any Pink Floyd or the song "Analog Kid" without thinking about you. Words fail me...
Petie Guerrero
November 23, 2010
What a beautiful soul Heaven is blessed with now. Gary, you were always an angel, but now you have your wings.. <3333333 I will never forget you.
Natalie Parish
November 23, 2010
Though I never met you, I feel I know you well. You left and incredible mark on those you called friend. You are sadly missed by friends and family...rest well and rock on fellow Rushian..."I felt a shadow cross my heart when I heard that you were gone from all the lives you left your mark upon." RLfEO
Kerry Seastrum
November 23, 2010
Gary was a to me the "TRUE" meaning of the Human Sprit. An Admirable and Honorable soul.
He kept at true good humor's mark The social flow of pleasure's tide. He never made a brow look dark,Nor caused a tear, but when he died.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
We will always Honor your memory at every Ratcon. The Caravan will continue to Journey forward but this time we know we will have an angel looking out for us.
Travel well My Friend, My Rat Brother, My Rush Brother
Gary McGurk
November 23, 2010
Though we never had an opportunity to meet, still you touched my life and were quite supportive in my hour of need. The Rush peoples I have met peoples are like that, you know; but you and Helen are a cut above the rest.

I've thanked you before -and I thank you again, posthumously.

Samuel B. Sroufe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posthumous_recognition
Sam Sroufe
November 23, 2010
If this appears twice, my apologies, but the entry I submitted yesterday hasn't shown up so I'm trying again....

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful entries here, and for the awesome support that's been shown for Cassandra and me here in Cyberspace and on the home front.

How lucky we are to have such wonderful friends and family!

My Darling Gary, I know you're with the angels, I can feel your guidance as I make the small and large decisions that I must.

You Move Me........

Helen ?
Helen Ortiz
November 22, 2010
Though I had not seen you in many years, you were and are always in my heart. I cherish the times we spent together in germany at you place. Those are happy memories that always bring a smile to my face. You and Helen have always held a special place in my heart. What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget. See you again in Heaven.
Penny Sautter
November 22, 2010
I didn't know you as much as I would have liked, but I'll never forget how you opened your house and heart to a complete stranger from SF (me!) that night after the Porcupine Tree concert in Cincy earlier this year, and helped me find a taxi the next morning for the mad dash back to the airport. Men like you are a rare breed these days, and I am happy to have known you and experienced your kindness. Fly on, brother... <3
Mike Airoldi
November 22, 2010
Hey Man,
Keep an eye out and the lyrics coming. Peace out ;p
~V
Virginia Zimmerman
November 22, 2010
Thank you all so very much for your kind words about Gary, and for your support for Cassandra and me as we struggle to accept what is, and move forward...... With every day that takes me farther from his passing, I do feel his guidance, as I make decisions and do my best to cope.

My Darling, you will be missed forever ? You Move Me

With Love to ALL,

Helen Ortiz
Helen Ortiz
November 19, 2010
it was a short time ago that our paths crossed but the impact you have had on me has been extremely significant and i thank you for being you - the kind-hearted, soft-spoken wise and friendly human being that we are so blessed to have known. i think of your smile and feel a warmth in my heart - RUSH ON my friend!
mike rosenthal
November 19, 2010
To think we met through Rushisaband.com...and then find out we only lived 15 minutes apart! It was an honor to know you, and become a friend to you. I'll never forget our first Rush concert we went to together in Indianapolis, the Reds games we'd go to, or talk to each other about as we watched...our discussions on music, military, and life in general. You'll always have a place in my heart buddy...and when I hear "The Analog Kid"....I naturally look upwards..take care buddy...I'll see ya again sometime....looking forward to a "slap on the back of the head" again!!!!!
Scott Spraul
November 19, 2010
Dearest Gary, You have left your foot prints on all of our hearts. I miss you very much. I was thinking of our very last phone conversation on Sept.11th. You sounded good, but tired. I will always have that. You have rocked our world with your love,wisdom,wit,smile,and knowledge. I know that you and I didn't talk often enough, but when we did, you always had the right words to say. You had comforting words for me when Jerry passed and I'll never forget them. I pray that I have the right words for Helen and/or Sandy when they need. You are an Angel sent from above to watch over your "girls" now. All I ask is that you continue to watch over them and continue to guide them. With the Lord's help, I know this will help them. I love you dear brother, but miss you even more.???
Anne
Anne Roggensee
November 19, 2010
Dear, wonderful friend and my music twin...I have had many songs and lyrics almost capture what I'd like to say, songs we talked about, but I keep coming back to a couple of short phrases from our boys....I am so fortunate to have found my "long awaited friend" and I will see you again...until then.. "we hold on". You are so treasured, loved, and missed by many <3 I give you heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the lessons you taught me.
Noreen Moseley
November 19, 2010
What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.
Sue Figgins
November 19, 2010
Gary was one of the finest human beings I've ever had the pleasure to know.
Joy Parish
November 19, 2010
While I had the pleasure of knowing you only for a short time, I will always cherish those moments. We are a strange breed - we Rush fanatics. When I think of you, a few things come to mind. First, the way you showed your love for Helen. That was true love; how inspiring to us all! Second, the way you managed to save the day, by helping to fix the audio “issues” at RatCon. That might seem to be a strange memory, but I was blown away by the way you carried yourself. Giving, caring, loving, unassuming, dedicated, and true friend only begin to describe who you were. You are missed SFC Ortiz!
Dan Dolan
November 19, 2010
Gary was one of the finest human beings I've ever had the pleasure to know. He had big, beautiful, kind eyes, a pure heart, and a loving spirit. He was a rock solid Rush Rat and a decent human being who served his country and loved his family above all else. I was only fortunate enough to have known him for a few years, but I'll miss him until I leave the earth. Love you tons, Gary. <3
Joy Parish
November 19, 2010
I'm also going to miss you. You were so wonderful. I remember when we moved in a couple doors away from you, and you made me an Easter basket. It was wonderful. I can't believe you aren't here anymore.

Much love forever. Oxoxoxox
Emerald Bilbrey
November 6, 2010
Suddenly, You were gone, from all the lives you left your mark upon...Rush-"Afterimage" 1984. After meeting you through our favorite band and blog, you touched my life like a brother. Things will never be the same at future RatCon gatherings without our Gary "The SoundMan" Ortiz. A moment to remember the special person you were, from all who loved you, will always be had in your honor. May god rest your soul my friend.
Lance Kasten
November 2, 2010
Uncle Gary,
You've done so much for me & my family, having always been there to help & be the rock that you are. Every single time we were together, you never failed to bring a smile to my face & tell me how much you love me. Your hugs, beautiful smile & jokes are just a few things I'll miss most about you. I'm so grateful to have been able to visit you one last time on my way down to NC. I love you so, so much and I'll never ever stop missing you.
Love Always,
Julia, Ella & Elijah
Julia Bernard Tyrrell
October 31, 2010
I hadn't seen you for many years so I was so very happy to get to reconnect, if only briefly when you came to my house with Aunt Tinker. It was so obvious you two had a strong bond. Rest peacefully Gary.
Jeanne Barilone
October 31, 2010
Gary was a 'HUGE" asset to our family, let alone Helen's life.............yes Helen, I believe he saved you from "mas destruction" all kidding asside, he will and is missed by everyone that he has touched.............gone but NEVER forgotten.........Helen and Cassandra will live his destiny............
Jamie Taylor
October 31, 2010
Although we met briefly, you touched the hearts of so many through your love of music and RUSH. May the angels surround you with the peace and love you so unselfishly brought to others, a loving bridge that never dies.
Gina & Stan Rosenthal
October 31, 2010
Going to miss you Gary. Thank you for being a wonderful friend. Sleep in peace with the angels.
Michelle Watson
October 31, 2010
daddy.
Pumpkin
October 31, 2010
Uncle Gary ; may you have a RUSH of a time .
Love you Always & Forever .
<3
Desiree Ortiz
October 31, 2010
May you rest in peace Gary . You will always be with us as you shine down on us. You will be missed. Love You. Barbara Darlene Ortiz (MD)
B>Darlene Ortiz
October 31, 2010
Gary and Helen's 25th Anniversary Surprise
Kathy Bernard
October 31, 2010
Gary Dancing with Sandy (one of his girls).
Kathy Bernard
October 31, 2010
Denise Taylor
October 31, 2010
Uncle Gary ; get your RUSH on up there (:
I Love You , Forever & Always!
Desiree Ortiz
October 31, 2010
my last pic with Unc and the first and only time he met beaux. july 2, 2010
oh unc, i miss you so much. i miss our talks online. i'm so very grateful you got to meet lila and beaux, especially beaux. i will make sure they know about their Great unc.
jennie daniels
October 31, 2010
To a great bestfriend and brother-in-law. This picture from June 2010 is great and no one would have known you were sick. I will deeply miss you and it is still hard to believe you left us so early. I just wish I could of said one more thing to you, but I could not. You will be close to me forever. I have also made a request that a mass be said for you on the 7th of Nov. at St. Joseph's.

Love,
Kathy
Kathy Bernard
October 26, 2010
Gary, you have always been a brother to our family. I will never forget your smile,wisdom,and wit. You are now a shining star in the heavens above along with our other very loved and very missed family. I love you but miss you more.Continue to be Helen and Sandy's Guardian Angel. Until we meet again dear brother ???
Anne
October 25, 2010
Rest in peace Gary.
LuAnn Boyer
October 25, 2010
love to you helen & sandy. guardian angel gary is on deck. . . I feel so blessed to be friends with your family. thank you.
Jennie Hills
October 25, 2010
You're one of the most good and decent men I've ever had the privilege to call a friend. I'll miss our music and miscellanea chats and your positivity and wit on RIAB. Shine on, brother.
Robin Walton
October 25, 2010
Gary, I will never forget you and all your great advice you gave me. I love and miss you. I love you Helen and Cassandra.
Margaret Duhon (Margo) Houston, Texas
Margaret Duhon
October 25, 2010
Love you and miss you SO very much. You are with most of our family now so I know you are not alone and they are hugging you. You still live in my heart and I will forever be your Aunt Tinker.
Sylvia Spiess
October 24, 2010
Helen, so so very sorry for your loss! God speed!
Heather
Heather Annette
October 24, 2010
Gary and Helen at Lila's Baptism May 2008
Kathy Bernard
October 24, 2010
You left us so soon friend. Our time together was short lived but your memory lives on forever. -Tim
Tim Tyrrell
October 24, 2010
You still shine on.....we will see you again....you are very, very missed and loved here, dear friend! Noreen
Noreen Moseley
October 24, 2010
Dear Brother I still cannot believe you left us sooo soon. I will help Helen and Sandy in any way I can. I love and miss you.
Kathy
October 24, 2010
Gary holding his great nephew Eli on the day he was born 04.09.2010
Kathy Bernard
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