Benito (Ben) Ortiz Jr, 64, was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado to Benito and Grace Ortiz who preceded him in death. He is survived by siblings Bill Ortiz, Joe Ortiz, Cathy Lucero, Margie Romero, Lola (Bob) Autobee, Rick (Nancy) Ortiz and Jeff Ortiz. He retired from Evraz Steel in 2018 with 44 years of service. He had no children to carry on his name, however, he had several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews which he loved and cherished. He would fill their stomachs and pockets with tons of treats when they visited him. He had a special bond with his godson, Jerod Ortiz, and loved him like a son. He will be missed by “Teddy” the family dog who he cared for when his mom passed. Ben had a witty sense of humor and would rename you when you resembled someone else. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed stream fishing and hunting. When he wasn’t in Salida fishing or hunting, he was watching his favorite teams (Chiefs, Dodgers and Celtics) play. He was the lone Chief’s fan amongst a family of Bronco fans. Ben was an alumni of Pueblo County High School class of 74 and was an outstanding basketball player for the Hornets. He dazzled the crowd with his fancy passes and his floppy socks. He was a key player when the Hornets made an appearance in 1973 at the state basketball championship games. His entertainment was going to Cripple Creek and scratching lottery tickets. He had some good payouts on his scratch tickets, however, his goal was to hit the grand prize. A special thanks to, Heather Smith, who assisted Ben with his medical appointments and provided him loving care and support during his brief illness. Ben will be sadly missed by all and leaves us to cherish many happy memories. We love you brother, uncle, and friend.
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