If you knew Dominick Ortega for more than ten minutes, you are feeling today as if you have lost a life-long friend. You are invited to join a group of other like-minded people at 3:00 in the afternoon on Sunday, May 25, at the Three Angels Seventh-day Adventist Church in College Station, to celebrate the life of this unusually wonderful human bean – he was a garbanzo!
Dominick burst upon this earthly stage on August 18, 1968, the son of Raymond Ortega and Delia Palomo. Three years later, brother Ariel was born, and together they faced the challenges of growing up under various circumstances throughout the greater Houston area. The battle between darkness and light was well underway, darkness steadily gaining the upper hand.
As teenagers, Dominick and Denise created Nick. Regretfully, Dominick had no part in raising this child and never connected with Nick as an adult. The cycle of drug use, criminal activity, and incarceration had begun. Several years later, Serena did her best to rehabilitate Dominick, but he left her alone with their son, Travis. Happily, for the past five years, Travis Bingham, Serena, and Travis’s sister, Lauren, have been Dominick’s treasured friends.
A slave to his addictions and to violence, Dominick spent more than half of his adult life behind bars. He hated the world. When Dominick was nearly beaten to death in prison, he desperately pleaded with God: “If you will save my life, I will serve you for the remainder of it.” God did, and Dominick has. During the last year of Dominick’s third incarceration, his mantra was NO MORE WALLS! And there weren’t any. Despite temptations and periods of discouragement, Dominick clung to God’s promises; he increased his knowledge of Bible truth; and he shared his faith in Jesus with everyone he met. Dominick was a walking, talking, laughing, loving miracle – a living testimony to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power. “It’s ALL about Jesus,” he would say.
Dominick loved living in the Brazos Valley, his home since early 2009. “It’s so much fun being clean and sober and earning an honest living. I love being domesticated!” Dominick was continually amazed by the blessings of living a life focused on others rather than self.
“I was born to drive,” Dominick often declared, and he truly enjoyed his work as a professional truck driver. He liked cruising on two wheels as well and always had a motorcycle. Dominick was fascinated with watches and pocketknives. He relished Blue Bell ice cream. How do you define a life? Oh, sweet Dominick, we will miss you so!
The precise reason for Dominick’s death on May 12, 2014, is unknown; the family awaits the final autopsy results
Still here to remember Dominick and to ponder his witness are: his parents, Delia and Raymond; his step-parents, Irene “Nena” Ortega and Jay Ponce; beloved brother, Ariel; step-siblings, Jason Aguilar, Rae Ortega, and Melissa Ortega-Miranda; brothers-in-law, James and Michael Giles; a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins; his many friends, old and new, ages 0 to 95; and beloved brother in Christ, Tony Cantu, of Huntsville, Texas.
Dominick’s widow, Mary Elizabeth “Lizzy” Ortega, will howl at the moon occasionally, but she lives peacefully with the assurance that when Jesus returns, on the last day, they will rise together in the air to meet Him.
Please do not send flowers to the service. If you feel inspired to remember Dominick in a material way, memorials to his church’s building fund will be gratefully accepted: Three Angels Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1350 Earl Rudder Freeway South, College Station, TX 77845.