Oct. 6, 1934 – Nov. 10, 2019

Roger G. Ortiz died peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.  He was 85.

Dr. Ortiz was a beloved El Pasoan, a dentist who committed himself to public service and was a devoted family man.

Roger was born in El Paso on Oct. 6, 1934.  He graduated from Austin High School and Texas Western College. While he was in school, Roger worked at the Interstate Theater Company, which owned the Ellanay, the State, the Texas Grand and the Plaza Theatre. He met Jean Junker at the Plaza, and they often joked that Jean would sit through a lot of movies by herself until he could finish his shift and take her out.

In 1956, Roger and Jean married. Roger went to dental school in Houston, and they returned home to El Paso, where Roger opened his practice.  They raised two kids—Roger and Pam.

Roger’s professional career was marked with community leadership. He was an active and respected member of the El Paso Dental Society, and if he wasn’t at his practice that he kept with his son, Roger, he was teaching dentistry at El Paso Community College or providing care for people at Centro San Vicente. 

Roger served as chairman of the El Paso City-County Health Board. He served as chairman of the board of the El Paso Community Foundation, and as a member of the Plaza Theatre Steering Committee.  His family lovingly rolled their eyes when they were in public, because Roger knew everyone, and always made time to chat.

Roger is survived by Barbara Jean Ortiz, his wife of 63 years; as well as their two children, Roger M. Ortiz (Sharon) and Pam DeMario (John); and three grandchildren, Michael Ortiz, Cory Ortiz and Michael DeMario.

The family appreciates your respect for its privacy in mourning Dr. Ortiz, and asks that you make a donation in his memory to the El Paso Community Foundation, PO Box 272, El Paso TX, 79943 or at


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