Friday, February 29, 2008

Sally Ortiz Nieto Served
Both Rich and Poor

Sally Ortiz Nieto, a life-long resident of the Coachella Valley, California passed away on Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sally was born in Oceanside, California on January 25, 1924 to Celia and Johnny Barrigas (he from Lisbon, Portugal). She had 8 children and leaves behind19 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. Of her 8 children, six still remain and they include Pete Ortiz of Indio, Joe Ortiz of Redlands, Anita Avino of Bermuda Dunes, Sally Ann Wilson of Cold Camp, Missouri, Freddie Ortiz of Modesto and Julia Ortiz of Laguna Woods. Two of her children preceded her in death including Diane Mancera (2002) and Robin Harbert (1995).

Sally was lovingly known to hundreds of friends, relatives and employers in the Coachella Valley as “Grandma Sally.” Her first job was as a 14 year old domestic worker for aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran-Odlum. After birthing and practically raising her 8 children on her own, she worked as a cashier for various retail outlets in the Coachella Valley, including Valley Drug Store, Yellow-Mart and the old Greyhound Bus Depot in Indio. Later in her career she worked as a domestic technician for various celebrities and dignitaries in the desert area, including media magnate Walter Annenberg and US Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson. For the last 30 years she worked for philanthropists Diane and Guilford Glazer (Beverly Hills and Palm Desert residents) until her retirement about three years ago.

“My mom was the hardest working person I ever knew,” said Joe Ortiz, Nieto’s second oldest son, a writer based in Redlands. “She instilled in us an ethic to not only work hard, but to care for those who are less fortunate.”