George Lorenzo Ortiz
August 11, 1934 - January 22, 2020
George passed away peacefully on January 22, 2020 at his home in Santa Rosa surrounded by his loving family.
George was born in East Los Angeles on August 11, 1934. When he was eleven, he and his family moved to Perris, California where they became hardworking farm workers. He graduated from Perris High School with a track scholarship to Fresno State. After graduating college he served in the U.S. Army. After his discharge, he moved to San Francisco where he met his wife of 57 years, Carol Wheeler.
George and his family moved to Santa Rosa in 1964 after he was hired as a social worker for Sonoma County Social Services. Because he was Spanish speaking, he was assigned to Spanish speaking clients, most of them farmworkers. He grew to love them all, which served as the springboard for his being the co-founder of California Human Development, which has been an equal opportunity and training center since 1967. He worked tirelessly as it’s CEO for 37 years.
He was a recipient of many awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Sonoma State University and the OHTLI award given to him by the Mexican government.
In addition to his wife Carol he is survived by his son Robert Ortiz, and daughter in-law Jodyne, his daughter Diane Ortiz and two beautiful granddaughters, Georgia and Bianca.
Services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on February 1st, Rosary will be held at 10:30am followed by a mass at 11:00am – 8400 Old Redwood Highway Windsor, California. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to California Human Development Endowment Fund or United Latins Scholarship Fund - 3315 Airway Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.
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