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In Memory

Nelson Ortiz - Class Of 1965

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02/18/18 06:35 PM #1    

Joe Crowley (1965)

I had no idea he was bad off, we have sort of lost touch through no fault of Nelsons at all. I got tied up with my own  health problems and my wife's also. We all say how different we should have been towards our friends but we keep missing the mark, time and again. We treat ourselves hard and go on doing it for the next friend who passess. Should learn but, I at least, don't. I will miss him although I could not understand a word hardly he said. Had to get his wife to translate for me.?

02/20/18 07:36 AM #2    

Mickey Stever (1965)

Nelson will be missed. He was certainly a memorable individual. I am glad I got to spend time with him  at various reunions. He had a good memory of our time in Vietnam and helped me remember things forgotten.The last sentence of Joe Crowley's note made me smile and brought back memories of  talking with him in Nam and at reunions.

02/20/18 04:24 PM #3    

George P. Smith (1965)

Nelson and I served together 65-66 1st of the 12th Cav. C. Company 2nd Platoon 2nd Squad. He was a Good Man and a Good Soldier. He will be missed . Condolences to his Family  RIP Buddy    Forever Brothers Smitty

03/02/18 12:50 PM #4    

Sharon Ortiz (Padilla) (1965)

I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I will never have another conversation with my father again.  And as much as anything else, I am saddened that he was taken from me too soon. My Dad was always my biggest supporter and in many ways, I was his kindred spirit.  So much of him lives in me. I know that I have his “Lion Heart” as we both have always had a strong will for survival.  No matter what life threw at us, we were adept at finding a way to think and act our way around it.  I, out of all my siblings, possess both his charm and influential nature. I inherited my father’s strength, confidence, inherent goodness and love of others…as well as his temper.  As pleasant a man that he was, he was often a renegade at times…a non-conformist if you will.  I’m sure that those traits helped him in life…especially in war.  He played such a pivotal role in my life, he taught me not to live in fear and to not to be satisfied with conformity. Often encouraging me to explore new territories in my life. Like my father, I tend to march to the beat of my own drum. Yet as I look to the future, I will continue trying to emulate the teachings of my father and will always be eternally grateful and full of admiration for my dad and all that he has taught me. I will truly miss all the fun times that we shared as he was quite the entertainer.  He had an effervescent and infectious smile that always lit up a room! He was the type of man that positively impacted many people’s lives with his mere presence. As a child, I always looked forward to his childhood friend ....who we affectionately referred to as “Uncle Frank” coming over to our house. The two of them would reminisce and tell stories about their youth. As he got older, dad would sometimes forget that I was in the room, and start to tell the unedited version of the story.  I would always learn some new information about him and his younger wild side. But that was Dad…he loved his memories. He took great pleasure in sharing stories about his youthful escapades and Vietnam with all who would listen.  I believe that he found it cathartic. I remember wondering why he worked so much…often holding down 2 or 3 jobs at a time for his family. I didn’t realize it back then, but that was one of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad - the value of hard work.  He truly believed that if you worked hard and treated people right, then you could live a good life.  I will forever miss hearing my dad speak of his Vietnam Days and his buddies that were still very much a part of his life.  I will miss all the fun times that we shared together. Now when I go bowling with my family, I will have to close my eyes and imagine him with me.  I can already hear his voice…”You hit nine…you get nine!”…these are just some of the memories that will keep me smiling for years to come.


With that said, “Thank you, Dad, for being the most incredible father I could have ever wanted. Thank you for making me want to make the world a better place and for, along with Mom, showing me a path to do so.  Thank you for making sure that I have known I was loved every day of my life.  I know that you are in heaven now reunited with grandmother Felisa, grandpa Pablo, and your brother Junior (Pablo Jr). I will continue to find courage and comfort in your unconditional love. You were bold, yet humble. I will forever be your #1 fan! Please rest in God’s peace knowing that we are honoring you with the love and respect that you absolutely deserve. On behalf of your children, my mother, your grandchildren, your family, your friends, and our collective family friends, we will make sure that your legacy lives on. It hurts to know you’re no longer here physically but it’s reassuring to know that your love remains to cheer me on and inspire me and our family.  I will always love you, Dad, and I’ll miss you more than I can say. You will always be my hero. I hope that one day when I die, my children will look back, tell funny stories about me, and talk about how much they loved me. 


Then, like my father, I would have led a complete life.

Sharon Ortiz Padilla; Eldest daughter

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