11/27/1931 – 10/3/2019
Jennie “Juana” Ortiz passed away on Oct. 3, 2019. She was 87 years old. Jennie was a lifelong resident of Carpinteria. Born on Nov. 27, 1931, she was the daughter of Jesus Sanchez and Ralphaela Romero. She was the sixth of their nine children.
At the age of 16, Jennie married Pasqual Oritz. They raised their family on 9th Street here in Carpinteria. Jennie and Pasqual were married for 63 years before he passed away in 2010. During her life, in addition to raising her own children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Jennie also worked for Ms. Shepherd and the lemon packing house here in town.
Jennie loved to cook. One of her favorite things to make was her mother’s famous banana cake. She was also renowned for her homemade salsa (a jar was always in high demand for any occasion). She loved everything about cooking including the pots and pans. Every Saturday she would go to yard sales and thrift stores. She would teach her grandchildren the value of a good pot or pan and the satisfaction of finding a name brand for a deal.
Jennie had an open-door policy. Nana’s house, as it was known to many, would be greeted by Jennie outside sitting on a bench enjoying a cigarette. She would ask if you were hungry and even if you politely declined you would find yourself minutes later sitting at her kitchen table. At that point you would be grateful that she insisted because whatever you were eating was always delicious.
Towards the end of her life, Jennie was diagnosed with dementia and even though she forgot details of her full life, if she was reminded you could always see the light in her eyes and a spark of memories flash across her face.
She is survived by her sisters, Josephine Razo and Rosa Maya; children, Irene, Tim, Darlene, Michael (Francine) Ortiz and Debbie (Joe) Durham; stepdaughter, Suzie Ponce; grandchildren, Angela, Amanda, Lia, Miles, Eric, Jessica, Veronica, Dina, Alina, Henry, Denicia and Joseph; her great-grandchildren, Mikey, Tony, Ruben, Monique, Elyse, Ali, Jacob, Chantle, Cedric, Stephen and Christopher; great-great grandchildren, Kolby and Kolton; along with many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Pasqual and granddaughter Leticia Ortiz.
She would want the people who knew and loved her to be at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering. She lived, loved and was deeply loved by others and is now with her Father in Heaven.
A memorial service will be held at the Carpinteria Cemetery on Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. with internment to follow.