1938 Richard 2021

Richard Ortiz

June 3, 1938 — March 24, 2021

Richard P. Ortiz (82) of Casper WY, passed away on March 24, 2021. Richard was a father, brother, and friend, and will be deeply missed. Born in Carrizozo NM in 1938, he was the oldest of eleven children of Paul and Ramona Ortiz. He was a member of the National Guard and a graduate of the University of New Mexico, getting a degree in Geology. He began working for the New Mexico Highway Department and later American Nuclear, moving from Ruidoso and Roswell NM, Grand Junction CO, Laramie WY, and Austin Texas. In 1976 he settled in Casper with his then-wife, Claudette, and their children, and began managing the state office of Wyoming Mineral Corporation, a subsidiary of Westinghouse. Richard was a successful geologist for decades during both good and challenging times and owned his own consulting firm, Sierra Blanca Geo-Services in the 1980s-1990s. Each day was an opportunity to learn for Richard, he was a voracious reader, often reading three or more books at a time. His favorite subjects were History, in particular, the history of New Mexico and the history of the Atomic Bomb, political history, and Geology. He enjoyed golf, darts, cooking, and collecting rocks. He was known in town for sharing his famous tamales and enchiladas with friends throughout the many years in Casper. He was survived by his two stepsons, Steve Sandoval (Lorena) and Daniel Sandoval (Jude); his son and daughter, William Ortiz (Kristine) and Carla Hoppe (Chris); his siblings, Frances Ortiz, Robert Ortiz (Loli), Rita Hankerson, Esther Ortiz (Richard Slater), Tony Ortiz (Patsy), Fidel Ortiz, Carl Ortiz (Donna), Elizabeth Seik (Kenneth), Eloise Spradley (Jim), and James Ortiz; numerous grandchildren; and a belated dear friend’s daughter, Samantha Mudge. His quick wit and intelligence will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. The family will be holding a memorial in Carrizozo, NM at a later date.

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