Obituary of Joe Cirulli Ortega
On September 6th, 2022, Joseph Cirulli Ortega, 75, peacefully went to be with our Lord. He was born October 20th, 1946 in Harlingen, TX., son of Juan G. Ortega and Mattea Cirulli Ortega. He was a native of Santa Barbara and attended Santa Barbara High School, where he enjoyed many sports, including boxing, wrestling and football. After high school, he went on to proudly serve our country in the United States Navy on July 1st, 1966. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Service Medal (with Device).
Shortly after returning home to Santa Barbara from the Navy, dad met the love of his life, my dear mother Rita Swain (Ortega). They married on June 16th, 1973. They shared the next 49 years together creating a family and making lasting memories. In his early years, dad worked for the Government as a contractor and in his later years, formally retired working with the State of California in 2007. Dad had many hobbies that he enjoyed, but received the most joy from spending time with his family, raising his three children with my mom and coaching us in baseball, softball and golf. He also loved watching football, specifically the 49ers.
Dad never missed a single game of his children or grandchildren playing sports. He was always there to cheer, coach and guide us in life. Dad was always teaching, mentoring or coaching. In his free time, dad’s favorite hobby was playing golf.
While not playing golf, dad loved to travel with the family and spent significant time visiting Hawaii. Dad was a purest and loved the beauty that the world had to offer through history and culture. I always remember dad saying that the most important thing about travel is not the destination, but to enjoy how each place impacts your heart and soul. Mom and dad never traveled anywhere without us growing up and we enjoyed so many happy memories together as a family.
Dad’s always said, “The thing I am most proud of in my life is the love your mom and I created for our family”. Dad’s entire life was spent devoted to my loving mother and his family. He was selfless, genuine, loving, supportive, empathic and kind. You could feel his emotions when you spoke to him. He touched the hearts of all who met him and he could always put a smile on your face with his jokes and larger than life heart.
Joe Ortega Sr. is survived by his wife Rita L. Ortega, brother Michael Ortega, sister Jane Bouvier, sons Joseph C. Ortega Jr, Richard J. Ortega, daughter Cecily M. Ortega and grandchildren Joseph Ortega III, Jesse Ortega, Madilyn Ortega, Annalysa Ortega, Angelina Ortega, Jacob Ortega, Colton Ortega, Jonathan Ortega, Dakota Ortega and Jaxon Ortega.
Monday, September 26th, Rosary service will be held at 10am and funeral services will be held at 11am both at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1300 East Valley Road.
Burial service with Navy Honors will be held at Santa Barbara Cemetery at 1:15pm. All that knew him are welcome to attend.
You are deeply missed dad.
“Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me, where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me.”To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joe Ortega, please visit Tribute Store