Rafael "Ray" Ortiz, 98, of Rawlins passed away June 27, 2018 at his residence. He was born November 24, 1919, in Chacon, NM to parents, Cleofas (Romero) and Elias Ortiz. He moved to Parco (Sinclair), WY in the 1920s. He graduated from Rawlins High School and spent his time working at the historic Ferris hotel before serving in the U.S. Army during World War Il. Ray was drafted into the military in 1942 at the age of 22. He was stationed in Banning Park, CA, before landing in Great Britain on June 6, 1944-D-Day. He served as the acting mess sergeant and returned home in 1945. Before being called to serve in the Korean conflict, he married Mollie Madrid on October 9, 1950. Following his service Ray returned to Rawlins where he spent the rest of his life. Ray was most well-known as the ice cream man of Rawlins, WY. He worked at Kinnaman's auto supply before beginning to develop his own entrepreneurial ideas in the 1960s. Ray managed the Snack Shack; had an ice-cream/snow cone truck; owned Ray's Ice Cream which served as an arcade, ice cream parlor, and restaurant; and sold Christmas trees, bounce houses, and imports from Mexico. In addition to his personal business ventures, Ray was one of the founding members of the Latin American club, of which he served as the first and thirteenth president, which sought to promote and recognize Hispanic culture in Rawlins. He was also the first vice-president of the Lion's Club and a lifetime member of the V.F.W. He was also a parishioner of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He was preceded in death by his wife Mollie and his parents Cleofas and Elias. He is survived by his children Anita and John Gonzales, Lorraine DeHerrera from Rawlins, WY; Ray and Susie Ortiz from Spring Creek, NV; Veronica and Ty Allen from Cape Canaveral, FL; as well as his grandchildren Janet Bergquist from Redlands, CA; Julene Gonzales from Longmont, CO; Desiree Ham from Cocoa, FL; Adrian DeHerrera from Billings, MT; Carlos DeHerrera from Rawlins, WY; and Chyrhanda Saunders from Denver, CO. He was blessed with nine great-grandchildren. A Vigil Service with recitation of the Rosary will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tues. July 3, 2018 followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Father Sam Hayes will be the Celebrant. Interment with military honors will follow in the Rawlins Cemetery.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 10:00am
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
207 W. Pine
Rosary at 10:00 a.m. followed by Mass at 10:30 a.m.
915 Third St.