Louis Lopez Ortiz

Louis Lopez Ortiz, 91, died May 19 surrounded by his family. He celebrated his 91st birthday March 12. Mr. Ortiz and his wife, Maria, has just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary April 21, with their entire family gathered for the occasion.

During the “Family Celebration of Milestones” at their anniversary party, a close family friend read a document that illustrated the bravery of Louis Lopez Ortiz. He joined the army May 12, 1943, two months after his 18th birthday. He was sent to the Pacific Theater Dec. 24, 1943 and returned Sept. 29, 1945, just prior to the official surrender of Japan Dec. 2, 1945.

“During almost two years overseas, he fought in bloody battles of New Guinea and Philippines. During his stay in the Pacific Theater, he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, The Philippine Liberation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Honorable Service Lapel Button, the Army Presidential Unit Citation Lapel Pin, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Lapel Pin, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Lapel Pin, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal “With Arrowhead,” the arrowhead meaning he participated in an amphibious landing assault, and the Bronze Star for valor while fighting on the Philippines island of Luzon.”

Upon his return home, he married Maria, and the couple had three children. Mr. Ortiz is survived by his wife, Maria, his three children, Gilbert, Teresa and Fred; nine grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

A rosary will be 10:30 a.m. May 27 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Community, 8615 W. Peoria Ave. A funeral mass will be observed 11 a.m., followed by an escort to the Sun West Cemetery, 15399 NW Grand Ave., El Mirage.