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Devoted husband and famous Utah bookseller Patricio “Pat” Manuel Ortega's love of life didn’t come to an end with his death. Born April 23, 1945, in Questa, New Mexico, to Rudolfo G. and Corina Maria Cisneros Ortega, Pat passed away on January 20, 2022 at the age of 76. He passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones who will forever be grateful for the inspiration he was and the love he shared.
Pat is survived by his wife Carol Jean, step children Becky, Richard and Jon, sisters Anna Mae and Elaine, and by his brothers Robert, Tom, Rudy and Gary. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Amos and Felix, and step son David.
We loved him as a husband, as a brother, as a father, and as a grandfather. From his own mother, his brothers and sisters, he received an inspiration that he passed on to all of us – love.
“There are only four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.” ― Don Juan DeMarco. Pat ended his life “fulfilled” after 47 years of marriage to the “love of his life” Carol Jean Ortega. Pat had a generous and uncanny desire to share his love, so much so that he chose to marry Carol Jean in 1975 along with her four young children, Becky, Richard, Jon, and David. Together, they began a lifelong journey of loyalty, trust, and joy.
Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But he was all of these. He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness.
Although Pat enjoyed life abundantly, he always remained an unassuming and generous man. Pat started life with humble means, raised in the coal mining town of Price, Utah as the middle child of nine. After high school, Pat was a graduate teaching assistant of English at the University of Utah. His love of the written word formed his character and his life, a sometimes introverted but always intellectual man willing to share his time and talents with friends and family, many of whom learned the love of reading and learning by his example and teaching. Pat loved to read, as he once said, “every positive thing in my life originated with reading…” and he strived to ensure his grandchildren were afforded the every opportunity to share his passion.
Pat’s career culminated as the successful proprietor of Ogden’s “The Bookshelf” where he boasted over half a million books for sale. His business of over 27 years had a profound effect on many of his employees, friends, and family, many of which were all three.
Pat believed that outside of a person's love, the most sacred thing that they can give is their labor. In this way, he led by example. He made his deep passion for books into his career; he labored tirelessly for his passion and for those he loved. He will be sorely missed, and although too modest to acknowledge it himself, his love will continue to serve as an inspiration to his children, his 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and for generations to come. He has changed and improved more lives than he will ever know, a fact for which we are eternally grateful.
Pat need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who inspired love, compassion, and embodied the progressive ideals he espoused.
Those of us who loved him and who were inspired by his words and actions, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world.
For My Dearest Friend,
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Carol Ortega donation account at Wasatch Peaks Credit Union.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 4, 2022 at the Plain City 1st Ward Chapel, 2280 North 3600 West. The family will meet with friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
A luncheon will be held following the services.
Friday, February 4, 2022
9:30 - 10:30am
Friday, February 4, 2022
Starts at 11:00am
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