Margaret Mary Ortiz, 1956–2018

Margaret Mary Ortiz, 1956–2018

Margaret Mary (Halpin) Ortiz departed from this life suddenly in the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. She was surrounded by her husband, Gilbert Ortiz, son, daughter, and daughter-in-law. Margaret was 61 years of age.

Margaret was born in Pasadena, Calif., on March 2, 1956. She attended All Saints Catholic School in Alhambra and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1974, where she was active as a flag girl and cheerleader. She was born into a big Catholic family, the first girl after four boys, Philip, David, Patrick and Timothy. She preceded Mary Ann, Peter, Kathleen and John. In 1973 her longtime crush, Gil Ortiz, came up and put his arm around her at her older brother’s wedding. The rest, as they say, is history. They were married the following year at Holy Family Catholic Church on Sept. 7, 1974.

In the early years of their marriage, Margaret and Gil bought a house in Alhambra, where they welcomed Teresa, Gilbert, Celina, John Paul and Julie. In 1987 they relocated to Tehachapi, where they bought the house they have made home for the last 30 years. At this home, they welcomed Clorrisa, Paula, Anna Maria, Lisa and Faustina. Through Gil’s expertise as a general contractor, Margaret and Gil took great joy in working with their children landscaping their yard, renovating the house, and building an additional family room.

Margaret’s gracious hospitality was made prevalent in the many occasions that she opened her home to host countless community socials and family gatherings for reunions and birthdays. She was always ready with a listening ear and words of solace for any friend in need.

Margaret’s love of music was an influence throughout her life, and she found great satisfaction in sharing that joy with others. She was a choir director for the Traditional Catholic Latin Mass for 25 years and directed a children’s choir in Tehachapi for multiple generations, often opening her home to host the choir practices. Although traditionally a soprano, she would often fill in for whichever section was in most need, be it alto, tenor, or bass. She enjoyed playing piano, violin and guitar with her family, and was always ready to break into song if a good song came on the radio.

One of Margaret’s greatest joys was spending time with her family and having her grandchildren over for sleepovers or play dates. Her devotion to her family was especially visible as she tirelessly cared for both her father and mother in their later years.

The Catholic faith was the cornerstone of her life, and her deep devotion to the faith was truly inspiring. Her beauty and strength has affected countless lives, and only God can truly know to what extent she was able to influence others for the better.

Margaret was preceded in death by her father, Eugene Halpin (2013); mother, Margaret Halpin (2016); and brother, David Halpin (2015).

Margaret is survived by husband, Gil Ortiz; her children, Teresa Cooper (John), Gilbert Ortiz (Veronica), Celina Skoby (John), John Ortiz, Julie Smith (Daniel), Clorrisa Watters (Bryan), Paula Murra (Fawsi), Anna Maria Ortiz, Lisa Ortiz, and Faustina Ortiz; and 24 grandchildren.

The Traditional Requiem Mass was offered at St. Malachy Catholic Church on March 2, 2018.

Funeral arrangements were made with the assistance of Wood Family Funeral Service. For condolences please visit

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