Armando Ortiz

On Thursday June 29th, 2017 heaven gained a new warrior angel, 3rd Recon Marine Vietnam Veteran, and avid fisherman, Armando Ortiz, age 72, passed away surrounded by his loving family.  He lived his life with eyes and heart wide opened ready to guide everyone onto their chosen path. He was a devoted family man who put his family first in everything he did. He was a loving grandfather who spent his free time with his family and grandchildren. All of his grandchildren were the greatest pride of his life and he was also their biggest fans in all of their pursuits.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Elvia Ortiz; daughters Patricia Gonzalez, Christine Vargas and Alisa Ortiz. Adoring grandchildren include Andrew Xavier Vargas, Vanessa Gonzalez, Christian Garcia, Prysilla Gonzalez, Lauren Garcia and Abbie Garcia. Son-in-laws Abraham Gonzalez, Jr. and Wes Pearson. Sisters Guadalupe de la Fuente, Lucy Escobedo and Beatrice Garcia.

He was greeted in heaven by his loving parents Luz Valle and Jesus Ortiz; brothers Domingo Ortiz and Juan V. Ortiz, loving sister Maria Funes and adoring nephews Rolando Ortiz and Tony Funes, his brother laws Jose Funes and Joe Garcia, Jr. and Robert de la Fuente, Sam Cavazos and great nephew Simon Garcia. His legend lives on in the adoration of his 14 nephews and 20 nieces who loved to tease him relentlessly and loved him dearly. He was also greatly blessed with countless great grand nieces and nephews, who all know him in person and in spirit.

He was born in the small town of San Perlita, Texas and then grew up in San Benito, Texas where he graduated from San Benito High School in 1962.

After high school he enlisted in the Marines in January 1964. In September 1966 he became an E-5 Sergeant in the 3rd Marine Division. As a 3rd Recon Marine, the 3rd Marine Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces in the Republic of Vietnam.

In 1978, Armando moved his family to the Clear Lake after graduating from Texas Technical Institute with an Associates Degree in Computer Maintenance. Thus, began a 30-year career in aeronautics at the Johnson Space Center where he worked in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. It was the only facility in the Space Shuttle Program where an actual orbiter hardware and flight software were integrated and tested in a simulated flight environment. It supported the entire Space Shuttle program to perform integrated verification tests. Co-workers who knew him described him as a legend who was admired by all for his friendliness, kindness, dedication to his work and his love of country.

Armando’s second greatest love was fishing, a skill of patience and cunning devotion, a passion that he passed on to everyone he met. A fishing trip with him was a right of passage for anyone who joined him during his favorite night time expeditions. He transformed a simple fishing trip into a learning auditorium where he taught everyone, including his daughters, how to recognize the necessary characters of life.

During his infamous nighttime fishing trips he taught us how to cast our dreams into life and learn to recognize the good catches from the bad. The courage to bait the hook, develop the perfect cast, faith in yourself to release your dreams into the ocean of life, the patience to wait and the ability to recognize when you’ve landed the perfect catch. To laugh at the times the struggles were all for just a mullet and the willingness to do it all over again until all the bait was gone. A fisherman never gives up and they always have extra lures and know when you have to break the line and start all over again.

Of all the places in the world, his favorite journey was to the center of the heart of familial love. He viewed everyone he loved as a natural wonder of the world and made a diligent effort to make sure everyone he met shared in his awing marvel of the beauty deep within. God blessed him with a wonderful sense of humor that was the best comfort for people during the hardest and happiest days of our lives.

To many Armando was their rock and always had a gift for being able to find the perfect words to shed the light during the darkest time. His Marine Corps spirit was a beacon that inspired everyone to strive for their best develop their abilities and skills. Many who flocked to him were constantly left stating how he always had the right words and grace to set people at ease. In his final times his greatest teaching was his steadfast will to live and heroic determination not to be set back by medical obstacles.

Armando’s life celebration will include a visitation on Wednesday, July 5th from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm; with a Rosary at 7:00 pm at Crowder Funeral Home, 1645 East Main Street League City 77573. He will receive his final blessing on Thursday, July 6th at 10:30 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 1612 E. Walker St. League City, TX 77573. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, Development Department, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058.


  1. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family whom he adored. I worked with Armando for over a decade in the SAIL at NASA. He was a gentleman, a hero and a true friend. Some of the best memories I have are of Armando and I laughing and joking around about work, life and family. He was such a wonderful person. He will be missed.

    Kelly Davis
  2. Mando it. Has been an honor to have known you my brother.i can nowvhear you reporting to your nex fi.mti duty station in heaven telling God..Sir another Marine Reporting for duty.Sir.semper fi Mi hermano

    Juan Gallegos jr
  3. So sorry for the loss you feel at the passing of a wonderful man. May God console his family until they join him in the happiness of eternal life.

    Paulette Oster Gale
  4. Our Thoughts And Prayers Are With You All During This Difficult Time. Sorry We Couldn’t Be There With You All For The Services. But I’m Glad We Got To Spend The Time That We Did With You All. We Are Here If You Guys Need Anything. Love You All Very Much

    Jeremiah & Suzette Wright
  5. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Sorry for your loss. God bless

    Dawn M Ficht
  6. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

    God Bless your family in these hard and emotional times!

  7. I have to smile when I think of Armando. I worked with him for many years in SAIL at JSC. Such and kind and gentle soul that was loved by all. He would almost always come by my console at work just to see how I was doing and if everything was ok in my life. I never heard a complaint or harsh word come from him, unless he was joking about my husband saying the 3rd Marines were superior to the 1st Marines. I am glad that I got to know him, he was a blessing to all and know he will be missed by many.

    Tina Walker

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