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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Barbie Ortega. She went home to our Lord and Savior at the age of 97 on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, surrounded by her family and caring staff at La Vida Buena Nursing Home (formerly Vida Encantada) Nursing Home in Las Vegas.
Barbie was born on July 17, 1926 in Ranchitos (Espanola) New Mexico to Pedro A. Bustos and Rufinita (Lucero) Bustos. She attended the Santa Cruz Catholic School and graduated from the Espanola Valley High School and one of the first civilians to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratories. It was there that she met Ruben J. Ortega. After they married, Reuben and Barbie purchased her family farm in El Llano, started a farming operation, built a home and started their family. After several years, they moved to the Gallinas Canyon, and eventually made Montezuma, NM their home. Barbie then went to work as a seamstress at the NM State Hospital (now, New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute), until her retirement. After retirement, Barbie worked with the Foster Grandparent Program for many years and was fondly known as “Grandma Barbie.”
She was a faithful member of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, where she served as a Mayordomo, was a Crusillista and was quick to help when needed. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, music, playing her organ, singing, reading, sewing crocheting, dancing, and was a member of the Chaparral Square Dancing Group and had a life well lived.
Barbie is survived by her children: Becky Vigil (Dan) of Herndon, VA, Ron Ortega (Cara) of Gallinas Canyon, NM, and JoAnn Standridge (Bill) of Las Cruces, NM. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Amanda Ledbetter (Ryan), Adrian Vigil, Aiden Vigil (Brittney), Ashley Standridge, Austin Standridge (Christina), Andrew Ortega (Inger), and Celina Ibarra (Juan). She is also survived by 9 great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in St. Francis Chapel at Gonzales Funerals & Cremations, 2315 Hot Springs Blvd., Las Vegas, NM. Barbie’s life will be celebrated with a rosary on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Las Vegas, NM. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Santo Nino Church in Las Gallinas, NM with the burial to follow in the Santo Nino Cemetery in Las Gallinas. Serving as pallbearers will be Andrew Ortega, Juan Ibarra, Austin Standridge, Ashley Standridge, and Tabatha Alvey.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Our Lady of Sorrows Church Building Fund, 403 Valencia Avenue, Las Vegas, NM 87701.