Nellie  Ortega

Obituary of Nellie E Ortega

Manuela Esther (Nellie) Ortega, 86, of Gilbert, Arizona, left us for Heaven on April 3rd, 2023. She is preceded in death by siblings Arlene, Rose, Julia, Mary, Ruby, Paul, Peter, Clem, and Vince; and great-granddaughter, Isabella Grace Lee. Nellie is survived by her eight children: Danny, Deanna (Tim), Tommy (Maryann), Andrew (Dominica), Mary (Tony), Eddie, Robin (Paul), and Tanya (Scott); her sister, Charlotte; ten grandchildren including Kristen (Jordan) who was also her primary caregiver throughout Nellie’s last years; eleven great-grandchildren, including Emma, Andrew, and Isaiah, and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Nellie was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and attended Phoenix Union High School. Later, she attended Phoenix College getting her degree in 2013. She spent 15 years working at Southwest Human Development as a child development assistant. She also taught at a Phoenix Montessori school mainly working with Spanish-speaking children.

She married Daniel Tapia Fierros shortly after high school, living in Germany, California, and Arizona. She was then married to Edward Sobocinski and lived in Illinois for a while before moving back to Phoenix in 1973.

She is fondly remembered for her cheerful attitude toward life and her love for her family, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends. She took pride in writing poems, drawing, and coloring, and was always excited to learn new things. She enjoyed spending time gardening, being outside, dancing, and listening to music. She liked to sit outside and talk with great-granddaughter Emma about how the birds chirped to each other. She loved being with family most of all and would sit there beaming at family gatherings watching everyone interact. She enjoyed watching children learn new things in life and got a kick out of all the things that brought them joy. 

Her children knew she loved them unconditionally.  Her words of encouragement, wisdom, and comfort guided her children in life. She was a wonderful cook in the kitchen, especially when it came to her famous red chili cheese enchiladas and her homemade flour tortillas.  You were never a stranger in her house, and she always enjoyed cooking for friends and family.

Services will be on Friday, April 21st, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Falconer Funeral Home, 251 W. Juniper Avenue, Gilbert, Arizona.

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Memorial Service

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, April 21, 2023
Falconer Funeral Home
251 W Juniper Ave
Gilbert, Arizona, United States
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