Cover photo for Victor R. Ortega's Obituary
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1933 Victor R. Ortega 2024

Victor R. Ortega

January 5, 1933 — May 17, 2024

Corrales, New Mexico

Victor R. Ortega died on May 17, 2024, at the age of 91 in Corrales, NM after a short illness. Mr. Ortega was the son of Marcial and Frances Ortega of Santa Fe, NM, and grandson of Victor Ortega of Chimayo, NM, a signer of the New Mexico Constitution. Mr. Ortega was born in Santa Fe, NM on January 5, 1933. A graduate of Santa Fe High School, Mr. Ortega attended Harvard University with scholarship aid graduating magna cum laude with a degree in applied physics in 1954. He was awarded the Gordon McKay National Scholarship in Applied Physics while attending Harvard University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi upon graduation. Upon graduation from Harvard University Mr. Ortega was employed as a systems engineer with North American Aviation on the Navajo Guided Missile project until he was drafted for service in the United States Army. While in the Army he graduated from the United States Army Guided Missile School at Ft. Bliss, TX, and thereafter was assigned to the maintenance of Nike Guided Missiles in the Washington, DC area. Following military service Mr. Ortega was awarded a scholarship and attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1959. Following his admission to the bar in New Mexico in 1959, Mr. Ortega served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Second Judicial District in Albuquerque until 1961 when he entered the private practice of law practicing until 1969 with Paul W. Robinson, the former District Attorney in Albuquerque. In 1969 Mr. Ortega was appointed United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico by President Richard M. Nixon, and following confirmation by the United States Senate, he served in that position under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter until June of 1978 when he returned to the private practice of law with the law firm of Montgomery and Andrews, PA in Santa Fe New Mexico. While he was United States Attorney, Mr. Ortega successfully prosecuted and tried my federal criminal cases including land grant activist Reies Lopez Tijerina, Robert Bolivar DePugh, the leader of the Minute Men, and a series of public corruption cases arising from the alleged bribery of federal, state, and tribal.

While United States Attorney, Mr. Ortega was appointed by Attorney General Elliott Richardson to serve on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys and served on that Committee continuously from 1973 to 1978. During his last year as United States Attorney, he was Chairman of the Committee and was largely responsible for assuring that the Advisory Committee became a permanent part of the Department of Justice. Mr. Ortega also was a founding member of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys. While practicing law with Montgomery and Andrews, Mr. Ortega was for many years the firm's senior litigator with extensive experience in all aspects of litigation, both civil and criminal, concentrating primarily on complex commercial litigation. For several years, Mr. Ortega was one of the lead litigators and trial attorneys defending Southern Union Company in the New Mexico Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation in New Mexico. He was also one of the lead attorneys defending US West, the telephone company, in the Inside Wire Antitrust Litigation. For many years Mr. Ortega was an avid runner and cyclist. He completed a cycling tour across the United States in the year 2000 at the age of 67. He greatly enjoyed cycling in Europe, particularly Italy, Spain and France. Mr. Ortega enjoyed skiing, both alpine and cross country, and enjoyed fly fishing. He is survived by his wife, Carol, of the family home in Corrales and his children John V. Ortega of Boulder, CO and Annamarie Shunny of Steamboat Springs, CO. and his granddaughter, Daniel Ortega of Seattle, WA.

The Funeral Mass for Victor will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, with the Recitation of the Holy Rosary to begin at 10:00 am and the Funeral Mass to follow at 10:30 am at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 100 S. Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.  The burial will take place on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 9:00 am at the Santa Fe National Cemetery with military honors by the United States Army Honor Guard.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the compassionate professionals at

Trujillo Family Funeral Home
"Our Family Serving Yours"

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

10:00 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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Thursday, May 23, 2024

9:00 - 9:45 am (Mountain time)

Santa Fe National Cemetery

501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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